Playing in front of a mostly pro-Cyclone crowd in Kansas City, Iowa State led from nearly start to finish on its way to an 80-74 win over West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament championship game Saturday night.
For Iowa State, the victory continued the Cyclones’ recent run of extreme success at the Big 12 tournament. After not winning a single game in the event between 2006 and 2012, Iowa State has now won its conference tournament in three of the last four seasons.
Senior point guard Monte Morris played an integral role in all three of those titles, and went out Saturday night scoring a team-high 17 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Fellow senior guard Deonte Burton chipped in 16 points of his own.
The win was also sweet revenge for Iowa State against a team that beat them by double digits twice in the regular season. West Virginia defeated the Cyclones 85-72 on Jan. 31 in Ames, and then 87-76 in the regular season finale for both teams on March 3 in Morgantown.
West Virginia was shooting for its first Big 12 tournament title, and its first conference tournament championship of any sort since winning the Big East in 2010.
The Cyclones will now head to the NCAA tournament for the sixth-straight year. They reached the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2016, but haven’t played in a regional final since 2000.