1. Hilton Magic
The term “Hilton Magic” was coined in 1989 and is an apt moniker for Hilton Coliseum, which has produced several incredible upsets over the years. Hilton Coliseum gives the Cyclones an outstanding home court advantage, so don’t expect a win if you’re a fan of the opposing team.
2. Johnny Orr Statue
Make sure to stop by the Johnny Orr statue and get a picture with the legendary Cyclones coach. Orr is the winningest coach in Iowa State history and led them to the 1986 Sweet Sixteen making him one of the most renowned coaches in Cyclones history.
While seeing the Orr statue take a minute to enjoy the memorabilia on display nearby. Here you’ll see jerseys and other artifacts, so make sure to check it out.
4. Cy the Cardinal
The Cardinal has been the proud mascot of Iowa State University since the 1950’s and has won two national mascot challenges: the CBS Most Dominant College Mascot and the Capital One Bowl National Mascot of the year. Cy can often be seen wandering around Iowa State’s campus as well as Ames, Iowa, taking pictures with students and local Cyclone fans.
5. Pep Band
The Iowa State pep band entertains the crowd and creates a festive in-game atmosphere. The band plays a variety of school songs as well as pop songs such as “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners, so enjoy the pep band when attending a Cyclones game.
6. Cyclone Alley
The Cyclones student section is one of the most rabid in all of college basketball and is one of the key components to Hilton Magic. The students camp out before big games to get the best seats and provide excellent support for their team, so enjoy the fantastic atmosphere they create when attending an Iowa State game.
7. Iowa State-Iowa Rivalry
Arguably the biggest in-state collegiate sports rivalry, the Iowa State-Iowa games are a must see regardless of the sport. The two have been meeting on the hardwood since 1909 when the Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 30-27. Iowa leads the all-time series 44-26, but you’ll be in for a show whenever these two get together, so don’t miss an Iowa State-Iowa game.
Inside Hilton Coliseum you’ll see many banners from your seat. The banners honor the Cyclones retired numbers, including Fred Hoiberg’s #32 and Jeff Grayer’s #44, as well as the Cyclones team accomplishments. Take a peek at the banners to remember all of your favorite Cyclones players and moments.
9. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
In addition to its popularity at Iowa State football games, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” is also sung after big victories in every sport. If you attend a major upset at Hilton Coliseum prepare to belt out “Sweet Caroline” on your way out of the arena.
10 .Iowa State-Kansas Rivalry
The Kansas Jayhawks are the Cyclones’ biggest in-conference rivals. The two teams have been squaring off since the 1909-1910 season and there is always a lot at stake when the teams meet. The two midwest schools have a long standing rivalry, so make sure to be in attendance when the Cyclones take on the Jayhawks.