Saturday, April 1

Iowa State’s March Madness matchup vs. LSU presents intrigue, irony

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Talk about history aligning … 

The last time Iowa State played an NCAA Tournament game in Milwaukee was 2017. Steve Prohm was in his second season as coach. A few days before his team was to face Nevada in the first round, guess whose name popped up as a candidate when LSU fired its coach.


Steve Prohm.

There were rumblings that Prohm’s people talked to LSU’s people, when the Tigers reached out to gauge interest in moving from Ames to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

And please note: I didn’t say anything about an LSU offer. It was all about seeing if Iowa State’s coach should be among LSU’s official short list.

The response obviously was thanks-but-no-thanks, so fast forward to 2022, and Iowa State’s return to Milwaukee.

The Cyclones’ 6:20 p.m. Friday opponent is LSU, which ironically is looking for a head coach again after Will Wade was canned for being accused in a slew of serious NCAA infractions.

Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter (11) chats with head coach T. J. Otzelberger last month.

Just how’s the Cyclones’ T.J. Otzelberger fit into all this?

No one’s mentioning him to replace the embattled Wade, so don’t get that one started. But …

Who was in his first season as a head coach at South Dakota State, when Iowa State’s Prohm was being mentioned in the same sentence as LSU just days before that Cyclones-Nevada NCAA Tournament game in Milwaukee?

More:Peterson: On Friday, Iowa State fans will define NCAA Tournament’s March Madness


Thomas John Otzelberger.

If that’s not a bit of history aligning before the Iowa State-LSU game, then nothing is. Let’s play the speculation game for a moment. What if …

  • Prohm would have been offered and accepted the LSU position after Iowa State finished that 2017 season with a second-round NCAA Tournament loss against Purdue?
  • Iowa State would have hired Otzelberger to be the new coach? I don’t know how this would have played into this, but university president Steve Leath left to become Auburn’s president around this time, too.
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