NCAA

Hawks, Cyclones to meet in Iowa City

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Hawks, Cyclones to meet in Iowa City

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) For the first time since at least the mid-2000s, both Iowa and Iowa State head into their annual December matchup with legitimate NCAA tournament expectations.

Those postseason hopes will take a hit for the loser of Friday night's showdown in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes (7-2) and Cyclones (6-2) each have lost to the two best teams they've played; Iowa to No. 24 Wichita State and Virginia Tech, and Iowa State to No. 11 Cincinnati and No. 21 UNLV.

Each team could use a quality nonconference win before league play starts. What better way to grab one at the expense of your rival?

``It's going to be fun. We've got to go out there and be ready. We've got to go out there and play very intense basketball, because I know they're going to be ready,'' Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Iowa State has incorporated a new small forward, Will Clyburn, and a new point guard in senior Korie Lucious. Clyburn has been everything the Cyclones hoped, with a team-high 16.1 points per game along with 8.4 rebounds.

Slowly but surely, Lucious is finding his way with the Cyclones as well.

Lucious, a key cog in Final Four teams at Michigan State before transferring to Iowa State, needed a nine-assist performance against BYU just to bring his assist-to-turnover ratio even. He had nine more assists Tuesday night in an 83-72 win over Florida Gulf Coast to go along with a season-high 17 points and 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

``He did a good job, I thought, of spreading the ball around for the most part. At times, he's still trying to go between his legs too many times or make a home run pass. And he's just got to trust his teammates,'' Hoiberg said.

Iowa is also trying to settle its point guard situation.

Freshman Mike Gesell was given the reigns to start the season. But after notching just two assists in losses to the Shockers and Hokies, coach Fran McCaffery started fellow freshman Anthony Clemmons at the point and shifted Gesell to shooting guard on Tuesday night

Clemmons responded with eight assists and no turnovers in an 87-63 win over South Dakota, and Gesell had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

``Right now it looks like that's a good move,'' McCaffery said. ``Gesell will play a ton of (point guard). But he is such a good scorer, and he's so good off the ball. We're playing him both places.''

Iowa State broke a seven-year NCAA tournament drought last season, advancing to the third round before losing to eventual national champion Kentucky. Iowa is hoping to snap its seven-year drought with an NCAA bid this spring.

Fans on both sides of this rivalry have long pegged Friday night as the first time since perhaps 2006 - when Iowa reached the NCAA tournament and Iowa State was expected to - that there would be more than simple bragging rights on the line.

But a loss would qualify as yet another squandered opportunity for each team - and it's never too early to start building a resume for March.

``We've got to do a good job with our preparation these next few days getting ready. They play multiple defenses. They've got some good young players and their older players have really stepped up,'' Hoiberg said.

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Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

With Wrestlemania 36 underway this weekend, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley sat down on Instagram Live with former Terps defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Mojo Rawley to talk about his new career path. 

Rawley's real name is Dean Muhtadi, and he played for the Terps in for two years as a Division III transfer. He finished third on team in sacks that season and despite going undrafted in 2009, found his way to an NFL camp with the Packers. 

Muhtadi spent 2009 with Green Bay and 2010 with the Cardinals before suffering an injury that landed him on injured reserve. It was then where Muhtadi found a new career path thanks to two of his best friends. 

"Dan Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski played with me at Maryland, two of my closest friends," Rawley said on "Late Night With Locks". "Their dad was one of our coach's roommates in the WWE, so it seemed like a natural fit. We were watching together, and I kinda made a comment like, 'this would be awesome if I could be one of [the wrestlers]. Mr. Gronk made the call and the rest was history."

Rawley has been a WWE superstar and currently stands as Rob Gronkowski's hype man. The former Patriots tight end is WWE's most recent signee and is Wrestlemania 36's host.

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The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

First up in Saturday's round-up of the best sports moments on the internet, everyone is trying to stick to as normal of a routine as they can while at home. Quarantine wasn’t going to keep Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” away from his “cheat day”. Have you ever seen french toast this big in your life? 


Next up, the Watt brothers have been staying in shape working out together and they even have a football field coming soon. Check out JJ Watt painting the lines. He says he has a new respect for groundskeepers now. The stage is set for the Watt brothers!


Finally, no bullpen, no problem! Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman sets up a makeshift bullpen on his boat dock and it even has a mound. Now that is a beautiful place to get your reps in! 

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