No. 11 West Virginia and No. 23 Iowa State met Saturday in the battle to see who would benefit most from Kansas’ flop — otherwise known as the Big 12 championship game.
With the top-seeded Jayhawks losing a stunner Thursday to TCU in the quarterfinals, the Cyclones beat up on the eighth-seeded Horned Frogs in Friday’s semifinals to set up a title showdown with No. 2 seed West Virginia. The Mountaineers had won each of the previous two meetings between the teams this season, but Saturday was a very different story.
After falling behind by eight early, Iowa State rallied for a six-point lead at the break, pushing the lead to double figures. The Mountaineers kept threatening to make it a game, and the Cyclones kept beating them back. Never more memorably than this galaxy-bending dunk:
That was Deonte Burton, effectively icing the game for Iowa State with a monstrous alley-oop jam with just over two minutes to play. It gave the Cyclones an 11-point lead and was so powerful that it will forever wound the spirits of the West Virginia faithful.
Burton had 16 points in the game, surpassing 1,000 in his career in the process.
Iowa State was a No. 6 seed in Stewart Mandel’s latest bracket projection headed into Saturday. With a Big 12 title in tow, they might inch up the ladder on Selection Sunday.