powered by the Iowa City Press-Citizen & The Des Moines Register
Subscribe via RSS Feed

Sizing up the Big Ten Tournament

[ 0 ] March 6, 2013 |
 POSSIBLE UPSET

Third-seeded Purdue limped through February, losing five of seven games. Meanwhile, No. 6 Illinois continues to show promise under first-year coach Matt Bollant. Illini forward Karisma Penn has scored 1,875 career points, grabbed 1,002 rebounds and made 260 blocks. She’ll have to lead Illinois past Wisconsin in today’s opening round, but the Illini took Purdue to overtime on Jan. 2 before losing 67-66.

MOST TO LOSE

The latest NCAA Tournament projections by ESPN list Iowa as a No. 10 seed, setting the Hawkeyes up to host first- and second-round games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. A loss today against Northwestern wouldn’t necessarily knock Iowa off the bubble, but coach Lisa Bluder’s team dropped six of eight games before bouncing back to beat Indiana and Northwestern. So, it’s probably not a good idea to tempt fate.

MOST TO GAIN

Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue are all hovering in range of a No. 8 or No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That would mean a second-round meeting with heavyweights such as Connecticut Notre Dame, Baylor or Stanford — and a likely early exit. Winning the Big Ten championship this week could result in a more favorable draw and less daunting path to the Sweet 16.

SIZING UP IOWA

Perhaps the most inconsistent team in the conference. The Hawkeyes have beaten seven ranked opponents this season, but also suffered eyebrow-raising losses to Northwestern, Minnesota and Florida International. Still, the pieces are in place for a March run.

Senior center Morgan Johnson has recorded nine double-doubles this season. Sophomore point guard Samantha Logic is a tone-setter with her offense and her defense, and Melissa Dixon has emerged as a stellar sub. Iowa’s last appearance in the Big Ten final came just three years ago.

PAST FIVE CHAMPIONS

2012 — Purdue

2011 — Ohio State

2010 — Ohio State

2009 — Ohio State

2008 — Purdue

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 15 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

Comments closed