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Hilton South? Iowa State fans make their presence known in KC

Posted: 7:54 PM, Mar 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-15 23:16:04-04
Iowa State

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You may notice them for four days every March. Some hang out at Kelly's in Westport. Many stop at Power and Light for a beer. But all come to cheer on their Iowa State Cyclones.

Year after year after year, for 10 straight years, thousands of Iowa State fans converge on downtown for the Big 12 Tournament.

They drive the 230 miles from Ames, Iowa to make sure fans of Kansas and Kansas State know it won't be a home game for the Jayhawks or Wildcats.

"There is great rivalry among the Iowa State fans, the KU fans and the K-State fans," Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said. "We take a lot of pride in making sure we show up to be able to stake our spot and that we are part of this too. We've won it three of the last five years."

Aside for the rivalry, the athletic department credits the red carpet Kansas City rolls out for the Big 12 every year.

"I really do believe it goes back to the people. They are very welcoming," Pollard said. "The location plays a big factor for Iowa State fans. And then the facilities, the Sprint Center is phenomenal."

The fans agree with the man who has run their athletic department for 14 years.

"Big 12 basketball, who could want more?" Iowa State fan Mike McCurnin said after the Cyclones defeated Baylor in the quarterfinal on Thursday.

"Kansas City is a fun place," Scott Riser, who drove to Kansas City to cheer on his Cyclones, said. "People like to come here. It's a good party."

All those fans cheering on Iowa State believe they have created a little magic, more specifically "Hilton Magic," which gets its name from the Cyclones home arena, Hilton Coliseum.

In fact, many fans have a nickname for the Sprint Center.

"You know Hilton Magic? When we come down here to the Sprint Center, it's Hilton South," Cyclone fan Jennifer Perkins said.

"They talk about Hilton South. This is Hilton South," McCurnin said.

Currently, the Big 12 Tournament will be played in Kansas City through 2024 and if it was up to Iowa State, it would stay here even longer.

"If we said that it was going to be here for perpetuity, Iowa State would vote yes," Pollard said.