The Iowa men’s team kicked off march madness in disastrous fashion on Thursday as they fell at the hands of the 12th seeded Richmond Spiders 67-63. Now it’s the women’s turn as they look to buck the trend of Big Ten Tournament champions being bounced in the first round.
For Lisa Bluder’s bunch, they’ll have a bit more favorable matchup and certainly a friendlier crowd as they play host to the 15th seed Illinois State Redbirds inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes steadily climbed the national rankings down the stretch and ultimately earned a 2 seed thanks in part to the incredible run to the Big Ten Tournament title and are rewarded with home court advantage through the first two rounds if they can advance that far.
For the Redbirds, like the Spiders on the men’s side, they’re here on the back of a tournament title of their own. After finishing the regular season fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State won four games in four days to claim the MVC Tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Now they’ll look to play spoiler against the second-seeded Hawkeyes, who are looking ahead to a matchup with the winner of 7 seed Colorado and 10 seed Creighton, as well as a potential Sweet Sixteen revenge game against 3 seed Iowa State in Greensboro.
As we count down to tip-off, here’s a quick reminder on the details for today’s game:
What: #2 Iowa Hawkeyes (23-7) vs #15 Illinois State Redbirds (19-13)
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, Iowa
When: 3:00 PM CT - Friday, March 18th
Online Radio: HAWKEYE RADIO NETWORK
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