The Iowa State women will make their ninth-straight NCAA tournament appearance after getting the another bid Monday. The 10th-seeded Cyclones will face 7th seeded Dayton in the first round Friday at 11 am in Lexington, Kentucky.
Cyclone Coach Bill Fennelly has led the Cyclones to each of their tournament appearances. “You know to get nine in a row in this environment, to be one of ten schools now that can say that….that says a lot about a lot of people, so we’re very proud of it,” Fennelly says. He says it also says a lot about the university. Playing in Lexington means they will not be that far away from the mens’ team which plays in Louisville on Thursday.
“The very first text message I got was from Fred (Hoiberg), who said ‘let’s go take over Kentucky,’ so it’ll be fun. Obviously there might be a few people who get to get over there from Louisville, so that’s exciting,” Fennelly says. He says he doesn’t remember the first selection show, but says each is different. “You’re always excited, you are always humbled by it, you feel honored that you were selected, now you’ve got to go play,” Fennelly says. “There’s one thing to be in the N-C-Double-A Tournament, there’s another thing to play in the N-C-Double-A Tournament. So now you want to be a part of the greatest sporting event in our country in three weeks, so now let’s go play and see what happens.”
This will be the first meeting between the two schools. Fennelly says he doesn’t know much about Dayton, though he saw them once this year. He says they saw them when they played Iowa earlier in the year and says he doesn’t remember much about them because he was scouting Iowa at the time. He says it was a high-scoring game with the Hawkeyes and they will score a lot. The winning team will advance to play the winner of the other game, second seeded Kentucky versus 15th seed Tennessee State on Sunday.
The Cyclones are one of four teams nationally to make the NCAA Tournament in both men’s and women’s basketball in each of the last four seasons.