The Iowa basketball ladies, to be precise. They beat Michigan State yesterday, erupting for a 44-point second half to blow open a game that had been tied at 30-all at halftime. Iowa beat the Spartans by 17, running their overall record to 16-10 and their league mark to 8-5. They actually have a possible (albeit slight and depending on considerable help from other teams) chance of claiming a share of the Big Ten regular season title. After being left for dead a month ago, they've sneaked back into NCAA Tournament consideration. ESPN's most recent Bracketology update (from earlier today) has them as an 11-seed in the Fresno regional. (This particular matchup would have them facing Oklahoma in Norman, which is not a very nice matchup, but hey -- 11-seeds can't afford to be choosy and making the tournament is still far better than not making the tournament.)
They've won five conference games in a row, the first time they've done that since, uh, last year. By way of comparison, the last time the men's team won five games in a row, period, was at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. The last time they won five B1G games in a row was 2005-2006, although that includes three games in the Big Ten Tournament. The last time they won five league games in a row not including Big Ten Tournament games was 1996-1997, aka the year Andre Woolridge went HAM. I bring this up not to disparage the men's team -- we all know they've had a rough go of things the last several years -- but rather to highlight this accomplishment by the women's team. Winning five leagues in a row isn't easy. They have a decent chance at extending that winning streak, too, since all three of their remaining B1G games are against teams currently below them in the standings.
And they've been doing it the last few games without the services of their best player and leading scorer, Jamie Printy, who tore an ACL against Wisconsin a few weeks ago. (If AIRBHG has a sister, She almost certainly has a raging hatred of Iowa women's basketball players and their ACLs.) This is an impressive achievement and one worthy of more attention than we've given it so far. We don't spend a lot of time discussing the Iowa women's basketball team (nor any of the women's teams, or any of the non-revenue teams other than wrestling), even though they've been fairly successful over the past decade-plus.
Since Lisa Bluder arrived in 2000-2001, Iowa has made the women's NCAA Tournament eight times. They made the women's NIT in two of the three years they didn't make the NCAA tournament. None of those NCAA trips have gone further than the second round, which is unfortunate, but she's made the NCAA Tournament with Dr. Tom-like regularity. So hats off to the ladies, particularly this year's team, which is battling through considerable adversity to give themselves a real shot at another postseason trip this year. Their next game is against Michigan on Thursday at 7pm CT and it's being televised by BTN. That happens to be the same time as the men's game against Penn State, but perhaps we can check in on the ladies at halftime or during commercials -- they deserve at least that much.
(Oh, and speaking of the NCAA Tournament, Iowa City was chosen as a host site for opening round games in the 2013 Tournament; hopefully Iowa does well enough next year to earn a few home games in the tourney.)
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Speaking of our lack of coverage of women's basketball and other non-revenue sports, there is a potential solution to that situation and that situation is you. While the current BHGP staff can (and hopefully will) try to do a bit better job of keeping up with the non-revenue sports, the best writing comes from people who are passionate about a topic. So if you're passionate about Iowa women's basketball or tennis or cross-country or baseball or what have you, write a FanPost. If it's good, we'll be more than happy to promote it to the front page. Do enough good FanPosts that we get tired of bumping your brilliance and we'll bring you on staff -- I joined BHGP by filling the hole that existed for (non-WWE) wrestling coverage and the inimitable Horace E. Cow so wowed us with his Fran-Graphs that we were all too willing to cede most basketball coverage to his most excellent hands. (Please note that being on staff will probably not pay you more than the cost of a few beers, but it may give you fame and renown throughout Blogfrica.)
So if you're sitting there thinking to yourself, "Boy, BHGP is super-groovy, but it would be the cat's meow if they just wrote more about the women's basketball team or the baseball team... " and you like to write, well, don't wait for us. Give in to your inner George Plimpton and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were).