LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 15 (UPI) -- Chris Allen scored a key basket during a late Iowa State run Thursday and the Cyclones advanced in the NCAA tourney with a 77-64 win over Connecticut.
The defending champion Huskies went 6 minutes without a point down the stretch, a drought that ended Connecticut's comeback bid.
Iowa State, which did not make it out of the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament last week, will take on top-seeded Kentucky in Saturday's third round.
The Cyclones enjoyed a terrific start that saw them build a 22-point lead with 7 minutes to play in the first half.
Connecticut battled back to within four points on Ryan Boatright's 3-pointer with 8:23 to play but the Huskies then went cold from the field while the Cyclones were putting the game away.
The backbreaking basket came when Allen rebounded his own missed 3-point shot and scored on a reverse layup that put the Cyclones in front 63-52 with 4:19 remaining.
Allen scored 20 points off the bench for Iowa State (23-10) while both Scott Christopherson and Royce White had 15. Iowa State outrebounded Connecticut 37-20.
Shabazz Napier led Connecticut (20-14) with 22 points.