IOWA EARNS #6 SEED, WILL FACE MARIST IN FIRST ROUND

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Red Foxes and Cardinals? I'm sensing a theme here.

A day after the Iowa men found out their postseason fate, the Iowa women learned theirs.  There wasn't nearly as much drama involved, since we knew Iowa was firmly in this field (ending the year on a 9-2 run will help do that) and we knew where Iowa's first (and second, if they make it that far) round game would be (Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City), since Iowa is once again a host school for the NCAA Tournament.  The only information we were really waiting on was the opponent and the seed.   Now we can fill in those blanks.

Ticket information available here.

EDIT: And here's the full bracket.

This will be Iowa's 7th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Lisa Bluder (which is the top active appearance streak among Big Ten teams) and their 23rd appearance overall.  As always, we hope that this is the year that Iowa breaks through makes it to the Sweet 16.  To do that, though, they'll likely have to beat Louisville, the #3 seed in their region, in the second round (held Tuesday night, also in Iowa City).  Mind you, Louisville seems a mite under-seeded -- they're the #4 ranked team in the country with a 30-4 overall record.  Three of their four losses came to the UConn juggernaut and the other loss came to Kentucky (also ranked in the top ten).  So why are they a #3 seed?  Good question!  (I don't have a good answer or, in fact, any answer.)

But worrying about Louisville is also putting the cart before the horse; Iowa first has to beat the mighty Red Foxes of Marist before they would (likely) face Louisville.  Marist went 27-6 and won the MAAC this year.  They tied for the MAAC regular season title with Iona (both went 28-2), but won the conference tournament by beating Quinnipiac in the finals.  They suffered a narrow loss to Ohio State (62-59) in non-conference play, but did beat Oklahoma, an NCAA Tournament team.  They also have an RPI (yes, usual caveats apply) of 41, so they look like a fairly salty-looking #11 seed.

Forward Emma O'Connor is the Red Foxes' best player; she led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) and earned first-team All-MAAC honors.  Two other Marist players, G/F Madeline Blais and G Leanne Ockenden earned All-MAAC honors (second and third team, respectively) as well.  Marist boasts a pretty balanced attack, though: five players average double figures in scoring (O'Connor, Ockenden, Blais, Sydney Coffey, and Casey Dulin) and four players average over 4 rebounds per game.

Again, Marist are the Red FOXES, not the Red PANDAS, which is most regrettable.  If they were the latter, think of all the fun we could have with red panda GIFs...

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Red-panda

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