- Dana O'Neil, ESPN Senior Writer
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The Mayor has the townspeople rekindling their civic pride again. Iowa State is back in the mix and Hilton Coliseum is a hard place to play, just as it was when Fred Hoiberg was in uniform.
Now as the head coach, Hoiberg owns a 47-9 record in his home gym and it will be rocking on Sunday when Michigan comes to Ames (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN). That's what I'm eager to see this weekend.
This game could be better -- the Cyclones are without Melvin Ejim, out because of a knee injury, until December and Mitch McGary has yet to suit up for Michigan -- but even as is, it stacks up pretty nicely. Neither team is afraid of scoring, though Iowa State is slightly more averse to defense, so it will be entertaining.
Sans Ejim and McGary, the big matchup comes in the backcourt where Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane squares off against freshman Derrick Walton Jr. Kane has been sensational in his first two games, averaging 14 points, nine rebounds and 5.5 assists. Walton, taking over for Trey Burke, has been steady -- which is exactly what he's supposed to do.
Certainly no one's season will be made or ruined by this game. It's a quality nonconference game for both. But as Iowa State continues to make strides under Hoiberg, I'm curious to see how his Cyclones handle an early test like this one.