For the Iowa women’s basketball team, Selection Monday brought mixed results.
First, the good news: The ninth-seeded Hawkeyes host their NCAA Tournament opener against No. 8 Miami of Florida at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
And, the bad news: The winner will likely meet Final Four favorite Notre Dame in the second round.
“We’re thrilled to have our name come up there,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to be on our home court and play in the national tournament.”
The mood was equally upbeat for Iowa State, which was awarded a No. 5 seed and a first-round meeting with No. 12 Gonzaga, in Spokane, Wash.
“It’s a road game,” Cyclone coach Bill Fennelly said. “But we play a lot of tough road games. That’s what this tournament is about.
“I think they hold 6,000 people. It’s probably what people feel like coming to Hilton (Coliseum).”
For Iowa State (23-8), the suspense centered on where and who. For Iowa (20-12), there was some concern about even receiving a bid.
“We’re just super-excited for the opportunity,” Hawkeye point guard Jaime Printy said. “Just thankful that we’re in it, and any team we face in this tournament is going to be a good team, no matter what seed they are.”
Notre Dame will bring a 31-1 record to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Fighting Irish advanced to the NCAA title game each of the past two seasons and will be a prohibitive favorite to reach the Regional in Norfolk.
“When you get someone on your home court, anything can happen,” Printy said. “That’s why they call it March Madness.”
If the Cyclones win, they would meet either fourth-seed Georgia or No. 13 Montana.
“Just to know we have a good seed and we’re in a good spot,” Iowa State forward Brynn Williamson said. “Getting second place in the Big 12 tournament, playing against the No. 1 team in the country (Baylor), you go in there with a lot of momentum.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball