The Ugly Streak

Iowa State has lost 18 consecutive games to Oklahoma State in Stillwater but by my estimation that is not the worst current streak for the Cyclone basketball program. Iowa State is currently on a seven year streak where they have failed to win a single game at the Big 12 tournament. The last win came as a five seed in 2005 in a first round victory over the last place Baylor Bears.

In that quarterfinal round of the 2005 tournament the Cyclones lost to the fourth seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders in a game that was close throughout. In the seven tournaments since then Iowa State was given the following seed and lost to these teams:

  • 2006 – 10 – Oklahoma State
  • 2007 – 8 – Oklahoma
  • 2008 – 11 – Texas A&M
  • 2009 – 10 – Oklahoma State
  • 2010 – 11 – Texas
  • 2011 – 12 – Colorado
  • 2012 – 3 – Texas

Eight straight losses if you date back to the 2005 quarterfinal game against Texas Tech. Since the 2006 tournament every other Big 12 team has won at least three conference tournament games. Here are all of the Big 12 teams with their win totals in the past seven years and the number of winless tournaments in parentheses:

  • Kansas – 16 (1) – Five Tournament Titles
  • Texas – 12 (0)
  • Oklahoma State – 9 (0)
  • Baylor – 7 (3)
  • Missouri – 7 (4)
  • Texas A&M – 6 (2)
  • Texas Tech – 4 (3)
  • Colorado – 4 (3) – Competed in just six of the seven tournaments
  • Nebraska – 4 (3) – Competed in just six of the seven tournaments
  • Kansas State – 3 (5)
  • Oklahoma – 3 (4)
  • Iowa State – 0 (7)

Here is the year by year breakdown of total wins, the champion’s win total bolded and in white font:

b12t 2006

See, that is ugly. But it does get worse.

If you go clear back to the magical 1999-00 season where the Cyclones claimed the regular season title and then capped it off with the tournament title by beating #9 Baylor, #4 Oklahoma State, and #3 Oklahoma things continue to be bleak. Starting with the 2001 tournament going through last year’s tourney the Cyclones carry a record of just 3-12.

The three wins include the aforementioned opening round win over #12 Baylor in 2005, an opening round win over #9 Kansas State in 2004 (before losing to eventual Big 12 tourney champ Oklahoma State who would go on to a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament and a trip to the Final Four), and win over #8 Texas A&M in 2003.

In those three wins you probably noticed that ISU hasn’t beaten a team better than a #8 seed since 2000. Seven years of complete futility in the conference tournament and 12 years since advancing past the quarterfinals, or winning more than one tournament game, or beating a team that was in the top half of the league.

Kansas City and Kemper arena became known as “Hilton South” throughout the 80s and 90s because of the success the Cyclones had in the conference tournament and the impressive fan following. All of these losses did not happen in Kansas City but that is where this year’s team is headed for the Big 12 Tournament.

It is time to end the streak. Time to reclaim the status of “Hilton South”. It is time to be a factor in the conference tournament again.

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