The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (19-13, 8-10) will host 2016 Women’s NIT First Round action inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday, March 17. The Hawkeyes have made nine consecutive postseason appearances (8 NCAA Tournaments, 1 WNIT).
Iowa opens WNIT play against Mid-American Conference member Ball State (21-9, 13-5). Tip time is set for 7 p.m. (CT). The Cardinals finished runner-up in the West Division in the regular season to earn a No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Ball State was bounced in the quarterfinals, 67-53, by 6th-seeded Eastern Michigan.
The victor of the Iowa and Ball State matchup advances to face the winner of Saint Louis and Little Rock in WNIT Second Round action March 19-22. Location, date, and tip time is TBA.
The Hawkeyes have made a postseason tournament in 15 of the last 16 seasons under head coach Lisa Bluder, appearing in the NCAA Tournament 12 times and the WNIT three times (2003, 2005, 2016). Iowa is 7-2 all-time in the WNIT and 3-0 in games played in Iowa City.
In its last WNIT appearance in 2005, Iowa defeated Creighton, 67-52, in Iowa City in the first round, Nebraska, 71-67, in Lincoln in the second round, and Arkansas State, 66-52, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the quarterfinals. The Hawkeyes’ run ended in the semifinals with an 89-80 loss to Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri.
Iowa is one of six Big Ten Conference teams (Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers) and one of three teams from Iowa (Drake, UNI) to be included in the field of 64 this season.