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Kalscheur, Iowa State headed back to NCAA Tournament

The former Gopher and DeLaSalle standout is wrapping up his collegiate career at the NCAA Tournament.

AMES, Iowa — Gabe Kalscheur and Iowa State are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.

“It’s what you dream of as a kid. When I was younger, I’d fill out the brackets," said Iowa State senior guard Gabe Kalscheur.

The former DeLaSalle star, and Gopher-turned-Cyclone, will play Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina. The 6-seed Cyclones will play the winner of the play-in game between Mississippi State and Pittsburgh.

“It would mean a lot to me. Finishing my college career with another deep run in the tournament. Doing that three times in my college career would mean a lot," said Kalscheur.

This will be the former Islander and Gopher's third NCAA Tournament trip of his career. In 2019, he helped lead Minnesota to an opening-round victory in Des Moines. Last season, his first in Ames, he helped lead Iowa State to the Sweet 16, a remarkable feat, considering the Cyclones were 2-22 the season before he arrived.

“He’s been so impactful to our sweet-16 run last year, our ability to get back to the tournament this year. Again, it’s what he does every day, it’s who he is, it’s how he works. Very rarely do you get to coach someone like Gabe and we’re cherishing every single day that we have with him," said Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger.

“He’s meant a tremendous amount because in life, you talk about taking a leap of faith, Well Gabe took a leap of faith. He had a lot of faith in T.J. Osterberger that he could turn this Iowa State program around quickly. Iowa State had won 2 games the season before Gabe arrived and before T.J. arrived, so it was a leap of faith," said John Walters, play-by-play radio voice of the Cyclones.

"Why Iowa State? The coaching staff, the know of what this program can be with the pieces we have. The disciplines, the principals, and the values that the coaches instill with us and I thought that lined up with who I was as a basketball player," said Kalscheur.

Kalscheur is putting the finishing touches on a fantastic senior season with the Cyclones. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors this season and was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

“Yeah, I take a lot of pride in that. Defense to me is a lot of fun, cause you get to go mano-e-mano with the guy in front of you," said Kalscheur.

Kalscheur was second on the team with 12.7 points per game, while also averaging 1.5 steals per game.

"Well, he’s a shut-down defender. He wants to guard the best team’s best player night in and night out and takes tremendous pride in locking that guy up," said Otzelberger.

Kalscheur and the Cyclones will begin to play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina. They will play the play-in winner between Mississippi State and Pittsburgh. For Kalscheur, this week represents a special opportunity to create a few more enjoyable memories in an incredible basketball journey, from the Twin Cities to Dinkytown, and now, in Ames.

“It’s what you dream of as a kid. When I was younger, I’d fill out the brackets. Finishing my college career with another deep run in the tournament. Doing that three times in my college career would mean a lot," said Kalscheur.

“Gabe has meant everything to me personally as well as our program. When he came and took a leap of faith and trusted us to come here to Iowa State, he came here following a season here where the team had won two games. We shared our vision and talked to him about how he could help us lead on a daily basis and since that day that he’s been here, he’s been a tremendous leader, he’s meant everything to our program, and he leads by example, his character is off the charts, he’s a terrific player," said Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger.

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