SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Iowa State used an overpowering second half against North Carolina Central to avoid the kind of upset that has tripped up other highly seeded teams in this NCAA tournament.
Then came the bad news for the Cyclones — or, really, the bad break.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said Georges Niang, who scored 24 points in the 93-75 victory Friday night, will miss the rest of the NCAA tournament with a broken bone in his right foot.
That leaves the third-seed Cyclones without a key player in one the most balanced offenses in the country when they play No. 6 seed North Carolina on Sunday in the East Region.
"You can't sit here and cry about it," Hoiberg said. "We'll miss him but at the same time, I believe in these guys, the five guys we'll put on the floor."
Plenty of scoring options remain. Four other players scored in double figures for the Cyclones as Iowa State (27-7) turned what had been a close game early into a rout.
Niang broke the bone when he got stepped on. He stayed in the game and made a couple of baskets before leaving late.
"My role just changes," Niang said. "I just go from being on the court to being our biggest fan on the sidelines."
The Big 12 tournament champions found themselves in an early struggle with a No. 14 seed making its first NCAA tournament appearance in just its third year as a full-time Division I program. But the Cyclones' quickness and balance eventually took over.
Jeremy Ingram scored 28 for North Carolina Central (28-6), which came in on a 20-game win streak and won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Matched up against a tournament newcomer, Iowa State players said they wouldn't look past the Eagles. As this year's tournament has shown, hubris breeds upsets and the Cyclones weren't taking any chances, especially after a first half in which the Eagles took an early lead and stayed within five at halftime.
The Cyclones were wary of a team that dominated its league, even a lightly regarded like the MEAC. The Eagles also had notched an upset win over North Carolina State and nearly took down Wichita State, the nation's only undefeated team and the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional.
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