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College Basketball

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75
Final 12Score
NC Central393675
13  Iowa State454893
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93


NC Central (28-5) vs. Iowa State (26-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 21, 9:50 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: AT&T Center (18,581) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: TNT. NCAA Record: NC Central 0-0, Iowa State 14-15. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Fresh off their first Big 12 Conference title in more than a decade, the third-seeded Iowa State Cyclones will begin work in the NCAA Tournament's East Region when they take on the 14th-seeded North Carolina Central Eagles on Friday night.

Iowa State is riding a four-game win streak into the NCAA Tournament, having vanquished Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor, who are all NCAA Tournament qualifiers, en route to the Big 12 conference championship. The Cyclones' last Big 12 title came in 2000, when the team made a run to the Elite Eight.

NC Central, in just its fourth season at the Division I level, has been red hot down the stretch, with wins in 20 straight games, including a 71-62 triumph over Morgan State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship game. That final triumph earned the Eagles their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

This game marks another first for NC Central, which has never faced Iowa State. The team that survives this meeting will advance to battle either sixth-seeded North Carolina or 11th-seeded Providence in the next round on Sunday.

Jeremy Ingram poured in a game-high 29 points and NC Central limited Morgan State to just 37.9 percent shooting to claim the MEAC Tournament crown on March 15. The Eagles only had six field goals in the final 20 minutes, but they sank 25-of-30 attempts at the free-throw line to escape with the win.

NC Central's run through the MEAC was no fluke. The Eagles led the conference in a number of categories this season, both on offense and defense, including scoring (73.9 ppg), assists (14.7 apg), scoring defense (58.5 ppg), assists allowed (9.3 apg) and opponent field goal percentage (.373). Ingram (20.6 ppg) is the most prominent scorer on the roster, with 18 20-point efforts this season, including five in which he had at least 30. Jordan Sparks gives the team a boost off the bench (10.2 ppg), and Emanuel Chapman (6.8 ppg, 6.4 apg) is a strong distributor.

DeAndre Kane led five players in double figures with 17 points to go with seven assists, as Iowa State claimed the Big 12 title with a 74-65 win over Baylor. The Cyclones hit an even 50 percent from the floor in the contest and held a 38-28 edge on the glass.

The Eagles may have been the best offensive team in the MEAC this season, but they barely register a blip on the radar compared to Iowa State. The Cyclones are netting an incredible 82.9 ppg, which ranks fifth in the country, while dishing out the most assists (18.5 apg) of any team at the Division I level. Melvin Ejim (18.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) has been tremendous this season, using his size to score from all over the court, while also attacking the glass. His efforts were rewarded when he was named Big 12 Player of the Year. Kane (17 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 5.8 apg) could easily have received the award as well, as he stuffs the stat sheet. The wealth of talent doesn't stop there with Georges Niang (16.5 ppg) and Dustin Hogue (10.7 ppg) providing depth.

Ejim and Kane are one of the most feared offensive duos in the country. They are no match for most teams and NC Central, which is too reliant on Ingram, is just another victim.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 89, NC Central 66

03/21 10:35:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
3rd
PHI 56
CHA 78
 
3rd
PHI 56
CHA 78
 
3rd
ORL 60
UTA 77
 
2nd
CLE 52
BRK 45
 
Half
BOS 53
MIN 48
 
Half
DET 52
TOR 52
 
2nd
MIA 55
WAS 54
 
2nd
MEM 26
CHI 26
 
2nd
SAN 26
POR 19
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
2nd
BUCK 79
CASEWEST 64
 
2nd
LIB 74
CPNC 56
 
2nd
SCAR 56
CLEM 37
 
2nd
CMICH 88
CONC 52
 
2nd
MIAMI 32
EKENT 55
 
2nd
GWEBB 86
HIWASSEE 63
 
2nd
ODU 50
MDES 35
 
2nd
BUF 56
NIAG 37
 
2nd
KSU 48
NCAT 43
 
2nd
FAM 43
UNF 62
 
2nd
NORST 68
NARZ 46
 
2nd
DART 44
NILL 38
 
2nd
MORE 50
NKENTUCKY 69
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
2nd
STJ 37
GAELS 41
 
2nd
ALA 49
STILL 32
 
2nd
HAMP 53
TENST 47
 
2nd
TENN 52
TENT 48
 
2nd
WMARY 84
WSHMD 44
 
Half
MERC 33
COOK 24
 
Half
FLGC 38
FUR 34
 
2nd
CALST 33
SDKST 36
 
1st
MTST 20
CHAT 14
 
1st
NDAK 19
DICKINSON 11
 
1st
LAMON 27
LSUALEX 23
 
1st
PRIN 40
LIP 25
 
1st
LAM 33
MLGN 19
 
1st
MINN 28
SEAT 15
 
1st
LOYC 26
SUTAH 11
 
1st
SELA 31
WINT 30
 
1st
SILL 22
NO 16
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
2nd
NJD 2
TAM 1
 
2nd
OTT 2
ANA 0
 
2nd
DET 1
NYI 1
 
1st
WIN 1
BOS 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL