On Friday, No. 6 Iowa State put up one of the worst offensive performances of the men’s NCAA tournament, scoring just 41 points in a 59–41 loss to No. 11 Pittsburgh. The Cyclones only scored two points in the first ten minutes of the game and shot 23.3% from the field, including 9.5% from three-point range.
Before the game, Iowa State needed to get its rim fixed for shootaround, as the basket was initially crooked. That took away the Cyclones’ ability to warm up, which might have led to such a slow start.
However, after the game, forward Tre King declined to use it as an excuse.
“It definitely wasn’t a factor,” King said, via ESPN’s David Hale. “One thing we always talk about is we know adversity is coming. We have to deal with it.”
Veteran guard Gabe Kalscheur agreed with his teammate and argued that the team just didn’t play well enough, as opposed to the rim messing with their rhythm.
“When the ball’s not going in, we work on the shots and stay true to who we are with our mechanics and confidence,” Kalscheur said. “That wasn't a factor in why the ball wasn’t going in. Sometimes it just isn’t going in. Sometimes that happens. We wish we had that one back and wish our offense was going smoothly.”
Kalscheur, who had a 40% field goal percentage on the season, shot just 4-for-14 with 12 points in the game, including a tough 1-for-8 mark from three. The Cyclones averaged just 67.6 points per game during the season, which is outside the top 250 in the country, so scoreless stretches aren’t unusual for the team.
Still, Iowa State’s dreadful offensive performance is one many people will remember, and they are only blaming themselves.