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Iowa History Daily: March 3 - '44 Cyclones Clinch Conference Title

Iowa History Daily: On March 3, 1944, Iowa State beat Kansas to close out regular season play in the Big 6 Conference. The Cyclones captured a conference championship and eventually made the school’s only appearance in the NCAA Final Four to date.

Under the direction of sixteenth year head coach Louis Menze, the squad featured ten players. Eight of the ten Cyclone players doubled as service members enrolled in the school’s naval training program providing engineers for the military during World War II. Price Brookfield paced Iowa State throughout the season, sporting an 11.6 point-per-game average for the season. 

Fresh off their only conference loss of the season, the Cyclones looked for revenge against Kansas. Winning 47-25, Iowa State finished the conference season 9-1 to clinch their third Big 6 title. Iowa State dominated throughout the game, gaining a tie with Oklahoma for claim to the Big 6 crown. Primed for postseason play, the Cyclones eagerly anticipated a chance to compete for an NCAA title.

The Cyclones almost didn’t wind up playing in the NCAA tournament due to a military rule stating players couldn’t leave Ames for more than 48-hours at a time. However, an exception allowed Iowa State to head to the tournament. The Cyclones went on to beat Pepperdine to secure the program’s only Final Four birth to date. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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