KANSAS CITY, Mo.–Monte Morris scored 17 points as No. 4 seeded Iowa State knocked off No. 2 seeded West Virginia University 80-74 in the Phillips 66 Men’s Basketball Championship at the Sprint Center.
Deonte Burton recorded 16 points. Matt Thomas had 12 points and Darrell Bowie added 10.
Jevon Carter tallied 18 points for the Mountaineers (26-8). Esa Ahmad, Elijah Macon and Daxter Miles Jr. each added 10 points. Teyvon Myers had nine.
The Cyclones (23-10) are heading into the NCAA Tournament as one of the nation’s hottest teams, winning nine of their last 10 games.
Iowa State’s only loss during that span was to WVU on March 3 but the Cyclones got their revenge on Saturday.
The Mountaineers jumped out to an early 12-4 lead but the Cyclones came roaring back. Iowa State’s half-court defense stumped WVU.
The Cyclones forced 10 turnovers in the first half.
“We turned them loose, fast break points 15-4,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “We turned them loose. They’re good. They’ve got a bunch of guys that can handle the ball and a bunch of guys that can shoot the ball. I think everybody says it’s hard to play against us with one day’s prep, but I think it’s really hard to play against them with one day prep as well because they shoot the ball so well. They spread you out so much. We missed some shots, and you can’t go 8 for 17 from the foul line and beat a good team. That kinda started it, kinda snowballed.”
Trailing 14-8, Bowie checked into the game and scored all 10 of his points, igniting Iowa State’s run.
Morris hit a 3 with six seconds remaining to push the Cyclones’ lead to 35-29 at the break.
“He’s a good player, one of the best point guards in the country and he hit some tough shots tonight,” Carter said. “I feel like I did a good job on him, but he just hit some tough shots.”
Burton and Thomas drained back-to-back 3s to give Iowa State a 41-31 edge with 18:11 to play.
Burton sank another 3 and made a jumper and Thomas hit two free throws to push the lead to 12.
The Mountaineers eventually turned to the 1-3-1 zone and Macon and Myers sparked a 7-0 running, cutting the deficit to five, 65-50 with 5:48 left.
However, WVU was unable to over take the Cyclones.
The Mountaineers shot 51.8 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 47.1 percent from the free throw line.
Iowa State shot 54.2 percent from the floor, 31.6 percent from 3-point range and 66.7 percent from the line.
Carter and Tarik Phillip were named to the Big 12 All-Championship Team alongside, Morris, Burton and Thomas.
Morris was voted the tournament’s most outstanding player.
The Cyclones improved to 4-0 in Big 12 Championship title games, winning its third title in four years.
WVU fell to 0-2 in Big 12 Championship finals, losing to Kansas last year.
Iowa State drained 30 3-pointers over the course of the championship, which ties Texas (2008) for the most in three games of the tournament.
Both teams will wait Selection Sunday to find out their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.