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Women’s basketball team waits for NCAA seeding

BY MIKE BROWNLEE | MARCH 9, 2009 7:27 AM

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With only the NCAA Tournament left to play, the Iowa women’s basketball team has two weeks off to figure out what went wrong against No. 12 Ohio State on Saturday and prepare for its upcoming first round game.

The Hawkeyes (21-10) are coming off a 1-1 performance at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, beating Minnesota 79-64 in the quarterfinals before dropping their semifinal game against the top-seeded Buckeyes, 72-56. Ohio State would go on to beat the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers Sunday evening in the championship game, 67-66.

The Hawkeyes will find out what NCAA Tournament seed they are and whom they will play on March 16, when tournament brackets are unveiled.

Where Iowa will play is no mystery — Carver-Hawkeye Arena is a host site for the first two rounds, and selection guidelines for the women’s tourney require host institutions to play at home if they’re a first and second round site.

The Black and Gold were undone by a cold start to the game against the Buckeyes, getting outscored 22-6 over the first 10:40, and trailed 34-17 at the half.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said she thought the Hawkeyes helped their cause in Indianapolis in the eyes of the tournament selection committee.



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“We came in playing very well in our last 10 games, and we played well [against Minnesota],” she said. “I know the whole thing, the seed, is not based on one 20-minute performance.”

ESPN women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme’s latest tournament projections have the Hawkeyes as a No. 8 seed, playing Villanova.

The Hawkeyes were a No. 9 seed last season, losing, 67-61, in the first round against Georgia in Norfolk, Va.

Iowa is 8-2 over the last 10 games, a key criterion the tournament committee looks at.
The loss against Ohio State snapped a seven-game win streak. It was the Hawkeyes’ first loss since a 64-58 setback against Minnesota on Feb. 8.

Point guard Kristi Smith was at a loss for words after the Hawkeyes were handled easily by the Buckeyes.

“We didn’t come out the way we wanted to start the game, and you can’t give good teams like Ohio State … I really don’t know what to say,” the senior said. “But we have two weeks to work hard and prepare ourselves for the NCAA Tournament, and I’m sure we’ll take full advantage of it.”

Wahlin passes Smith

With six assists against the Buckeyes, freshman guard Kamille Wahlin passed Smith for the freshman record. Wahlin has 83 assists with one game left to play. Smith dished out 82 assists her freshman season, 2005-2006.

Smith

Smith made some history of her own with unselfishness. Her one assist against Ohio State put her at 100 on the season, making her the first player in program history to have 400 points and 100 assists in three seasons. The Thornton, Colo., native has scored 414 points this season.


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