Happiness to Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg is Allen Fieldhouse in a rear-view mirror.
"Yeah, I'm definitely not gonna miss this place," Hoiberg said Saturday. "It's the hardest place to play in the Big Eight."
Four times the Cyclones' senior guard played in Allen Fieldhouse and four times, including Saturday's 91-71 defeat, he rode back to Ames a loser.
Only one of those losses was close. That was a 78-71 decision three years ago when Hoiberg was a sophomore. Saturday's game was close for awhile. After 10 1/2 minutes, KU was nursing a 13-12 lead.
"We started exactly the way we wanted," Hoiberg said. "We wanted to take 20 or 30 seconds off the clock on every possession. Then they got in a spurt and when they get in a spurt it's hard to stop them."
First-year coach Tim Floyd, hoping for better defensive matchups, benched three regulars -- forward Julius Michalik and guards Jacy Holloway and Derrick Hayes.
"Defensively, we wanted to set the tone, which we did for six or seven minutes," Floyd said. "We couldn't keep it going."
Hurl Beechum, who started in place of Hayes and finished with a team-high 21 points, was confident early.
"In the first half, it looked ugly, and that was in our favor," Beechum said. "But they're almost impossible to beat here, it seems like."
Perhaps if center Loren Meyer hadn't virtually disappeared, the Cyclones would have been in better shape. The 6-10 Meyer sat with 7:44 remaining in the first half after picking up his third foul.
Meyer returned to start the second half and proceeded to toss four or five bricks, all from point-blank range.
"I don't think I've ever had a game like that in high school or in college where I've felt this bad, and been so frustrated," the senior center said.
Meyer logged 23 minutes, missed nine of 10 shots and settled for a season-low two points.
"I had good looks and wide-open shots," Meyer said. "I couldn't believe it. There's no reason why it happened."
In effect, there's not much reason for Iowa State's brutal schedule, either. The Cyclones are in a stretch where they're playing four games in 10 days, including three in a row at Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
The gantlet will end on Wednesday night in Columbia.
"We're terrible right now," Hoiberg said.
Kansas isn't, though.
"They're as good as anybody in the country," Hoiberg said. "They proved it by beating UMass and Connecticut. Right now, they're the clear-cut favorite (to win the Big Eight)."
Hoiberg's coach wasn't about to argue.
"That was just a great Kansas ballclub we were playing," Floyd said. "They have a great interior defense, and we didn't have an answer for 'em. They just took it right up in and pounded us."
How bad was it? So bad that Floyd, who was whistled for a technical foul three minutes after the tipoff, considered wheedling for another and the automatic banishment that would have gone with it.
"I wasn't enjoying watching ... Yeah, it crossed my mind," he said, breaking into a grin.