Iowa, Iowa State and UNI all earned at-large berths into the NCAA Tournament. It marks the first time three Iowa teams have gone to the big dance in the same season. Iowa State is the ninth seed in the Syracruse region and the Cyclones will play Minnesota in an opening round matchup this Friday in Charlotte. The Cyclones are 18-11 and turned their season around after an 0-5 start to the big-12 race and will make their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2001. The winner faces a like matchup with top-seeded North Carolina on Sunday. the tar heels will play the winner of Tuesday’s play in game between Oakland and Alabama A@M.After a slow start to the Big Ten race followed by the dismissal of leading scorer Pierre Pierce it looked as though this would be a lost season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Instead the Hawks will make their first trip to the big dance since 2001 when they play this Thursday in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes are 21-11 after a run to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and take the number ten seed into Thursday’s game against seventh seeded Cincinnati as part of the Austin region. The Bearcats are 24-7. The winner faces a likely second round meeting with second seeded Kentucky.The UNI Panthers earned their second straight trip to the Tournament and will also be part of the Syracuse region. The Panthers are the 11th seed and play number six seed Wisconsin in the opening round Friday in Oklahoma City. The Panthers finished the season 21-190 and will be playing in the NCAA tournament for the third time in school history, and this marks their first at-large bid.It would have been called the Midwest region but this year the regionals in the womens’ tournament are being called by their sites and Iowa State could end up in Kansas City but will need a couple of wins in Fresno, California. The Cyclones are the seventh seed in the Kansas City region and will open against the ten seed Utah in Fresno on Saturday. The Cyclones closed out the season 23-6 after a lost to Texas Tech in the Big-12 Tournament. In the other bracket in Fresno the second seed Stanford will play Santa Clara. Stanford is the nation’s top ranked team but did not get a number one seed.A 20-9 overall record and 8-8 Big Ten finish was not enough to earn the Iowa Hawkweye women an NCAA bid for the fourth time in the last five years. Losing a second half lead to third ranked Penn. state at the big ten tournament proved costly, even though coach Lisa Bluder liked her team’s chances going in.
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