Iowa WBB Earns 2-Seed in Greensboro Region, Will Play Illinois State on Friday

By RossWB on March 13, 2022 at 7:35 pm
go hawks go
ESPN
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The NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Show is underway and Iowa didn't have to wait long to find out its bracket path: the Hawkeyes are a 2-seed in the Greensboro Region. 

WBB BRACKET SZN

As the 2-seed, Iowa will play 15-seed Illinois State in the first round, with tipoff set for 3 PM CT on Friday. ESPN will broadcast the game.

 The Redbirds went 19-13 this year and won the Missouri Valley Conference auto-bid earlier today, with a narrow 50-48 win over UNI in the MVC Tournament championship game. If Iowa beats Illinois State, they'll face the winner of the 7/10 game between Colorado and Creighton. All of those games will be played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday and Sunday this weekend. (Iowa WBB and MBB won't overlap, though, because MBB is on a Thursday/Saturday schedule in the NCAA Tournament this week.) 

But the real intrigue in Iowa's region is the rest of the draw. You can see the first big item in the top of that screenshot: Iowa State is the 3-seed in this regional -- and on the same side of the bracket as Iowa. Which means that if both Iowa and Iowa State take care of their business in the first and second rounds next week, we could be set up for the biggest WBB Cy-Hawk game ever in the Sweet 16. Iowa State ended Iowa's five-game winning streak in the series with a win in Ames earlier this year and they're a very good team, as evidenced by that 3-seed next to their name. But Iowa has been playing its best basketball of the season over the last month and they'll no doubt be eager for another shot at the Cyclones if that game comes to pass. 

That isn't the only bit of spice -- or TV ratings-friendly DRAMA -- in this region, either. If Iowa is able to make it to the Elite 8, they'll likely be facing 1-seed South Carolina for a trip to the Final Four. 

MORE BRACKET SZN

First off, from a challenge standpoint that is obviously a brutal draw. South Carolina is the top-ranked team in the country and the #1 overall seed in this tournament and this game would be played in Greensboro, NC, a short trip for their fans. It would be a very, very, very difficult game for Iowa to win should they get that far. The spice factor comes from the fact that South Carolina features superstar post Aliyah Boston, aka the main challenger to Caitlin Clark for National Player of the Year honors. ESPN would absolutely love to get an Iowa-South Carolina matchup that they could hype as a showdown between Clark and Boston, the two best players in women's college basketball this season. There's little doubt that that game would be a huge ratings draw -- if it happens. Lots of bridges to cross to get to that point, obviously. 

But in the meantime, we know when Iowa will take the court next and who they'll face -- as well as what their path to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 1993. There are plenty of challenges on that path and we'll break down Iowa's bracket in greater detail in the next few days. The Caitlin Clark Experience is must-see TV in its own right, but the extra drama that Iowa could have with this draw just adds even more excitement. We can't wait to see how things unfold. 

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