Score more points than the other team, AMIRIGHT.
1. Make a plan. A Cyclone game isn’t something you just “catch just the beginning or end of.” It’s a commitment because A.) you never know what’s going to happen in these games and it is impossible to assume, B.) do you really have better plans than spending the end of your work week with over-priced beer and overly-entertaining friends?, and C.) because school pride. So whatever game it is — a blow out against TCU or idk guys, a Sweet 16 tournament game — make a plan to watch that thing whole-heartedly, from beginning to end. You will kick yourself if you don’t.
2. Know your facts. So that when someone says DeAndre Kane is a drama queen with Marcus Smart tendencies, you can say, “DeAndre Kane goes to AJ’s. AJ’s makes you happy. Happy people don’t flop. They just don’t.” Or you can use my favorite method, which is spouting facts really quickly and immediately making everyone think conviction is synonymous with fact. Phrases like “split the paint” “posting up” “double double” “shooting from downtown” and “field goal percentage” will all be extremely helpful. OR you can say actually true things like this:
USA Today Sports ranked DeAndre Kane fourth in the Top 10 best players entering the Sweet 16.
Hoiberg will continue to take different approaches due to the loss of big guy Niang, 6’7 soph, who had the nerve to go get his foot broken last Friday (aka when “break a leg goes too far” aka “we didn’t mean it literally” aka “maybe with all this new attention sports announcers will stop pronouncing your name phonetically”).
Kane averages 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game and will, essentially, be Shabazz Napier’s worst nightmare. Speaking objectively here, people.
In part with being really ridiculously smart and good-looking, Melvin Ejim is the Big 12 Player of the Year and will take advantage of shooting both 3′s and inside the paint, because UConn’s highly ranked defense is scared of big guys apparently.
Let us not forget Monte Morris, Dustin Hogue, Naz Long, and Matt Thomas — together, they’ll make up for Niang’s absence.
So I mentioned Napier. He’s actually ranked no. 5 in that USA Sports Top 10 player thing, as he advantageously spent his 2011 freshman season on UConn’s national championship team and, you know, learned a shit ton doing that. He’ll be primarily responsible for guarding Kane, but Ollie will need to send in other troops so his star guard doesn’t get worn out.
UConn’s head coach Kevin Ollie is the same age as Hoiberg and they actually played for the Chicago Bulls during the same time. Both at the beautiful, ripe age of 41, you could say the former-NBA players are doing well for themselves. Or that one is doing REALLY SUPER EXTRA well.
3. All the beer. The last thing Cyclone fans need is something to up their blood pressure, so go for your favorite familiar depressant. If you’re like me and drink anything that is in front of you, beer is your optimal choice. (I also get super quiet when sports get intense. It’s why my career as a competitive yodeler never hit the fan.) You will be drinking A LOT. Your eyes will be glued to the screen, your lips glued to a frothy glass (or a PBR can if that’s what you’re into), and your heart glued to so many empty athletic promises. Your sixth beer tastes like water anyway, so you might as well let the hydrating commence. Parts of the game might get fuzzy and NCAA rules may be confusing, but that’s what tomorrow’s Internet is for — to remind you that yes, it is in fact okay for a basketball player to dribble between his legs. Hey, beer leads us all astray sometimes, but it is a comfort in the unknown territory that is sports.
4. Be with friends. The only people who are safe around you during Cyclone games are other Cyclone fans. Your ailing physical, mental, and emotional states during these events only become more severe as game time passes. And who do you want picking up the pieces? Hawkeyes? Jayhawks? No thanks.
Side bar: “rock chalk Jayhawk” literally has no meaning. Some KU scientists made it up a bunch of years ago because the school was in desperate need of a chant. So they decided on some words that a four-year-old declared a rhyme and that make about as much sense as non-alcoholic beer. But hey, we won’t hold it against them or their tournament loss to a school whose mascot is a color.
Anyway, the point is whether crying tears of pain or of sweet, sweet joy, you’re going to want to be surrounded by the people who know you – not a rando dude who just happened to wear cardinal and gold that day.
5. Survive and advance. Let the March Madness mantra be your mantra. Whether that be surviving the commercials and advancing to the bar, or surviving the game at hand and advancing to the next round. We can all take a cue from Freddy here and maintain sheer coolness during a game.
It’s important to take things one step at a time and to not get too ahead of ourselves. We’re Iowa State fans. How boring would it be if we knew how each and every game was going to turn out? Where’s the fun in alumni apathy? Your finger nails may be gone, your hope in humanity may be restored, lost, then restored again, and your thumbs may break after favoriting each and every #cyclONEnation tweet, but we do for it a specific reason. This is a team well worth fighting for, and we couldn’t be more proud to be one.
Now watch this.