For the third time in the last four years, the Iowa Hawkeyes found themselves in the championship game, and for the second time, they finished the job. Also, for the first time in eight (!) years, Maryland wasn’t in the title game. Iowa pushes their winning streak to seven, and their February/March record to 9-2. They move up to #8 in the AP Poll, and #11 in the coaches poll. But what about everyone else?
Big Ten Tournament
The first two rounds were fairly uneventful, but in the quarterfinals Indiana avenged their season finale loss against Maryland and Nebraska knocked off three seed Michigan, and just like that, two of the top four seeds were one and done. Nebraska’s win may have had the biggest impact, as they sit right on the bubble for a tournament bid. Iowa would eliminate them the next day, though, with Clark’s 41 leading the Hawkeyes to an 83-66 win. Indiana grabbed a small lead in the first half against top-seeded Ohio State and held it to win by eight, making their first final since 2002 and only their second ever (1995 being the tournament’s inaugural year). Iowa would slowly pull away, lead not by Caitlin Clark, but by forward Monika Czinano, who scored 30 and pulled down 10 rebounds in the 74-67 win.
Iowa’s big weekend propelled them to #8, a four-spot hike from their previous ranking and the highest in the conference. They’re followed most closely by Indiana, who moved up three spots to 11th. Michigan dropped from 10th to 12th, followed by Maryland at 13th and Ohio State at 14th. Nebraska did not enter the poll, but they did receive four move votes than last week, bringing their total to... four.
Iowa moved up to #11 in the Coaches Poll, up 7 spots from last week and 11 from two weeks ago. They sit one spot behind Indiana, who they’ve now beaten three times and who has a worse record. Michigan dropped three spots to 12th, Maryland to 14th, and Ohio State went up a spot to 15th. Nebraska received eight votes, tying them for imaginary 30th.
ESPN has six Big Ten teams making the tournament, with Iowa and Michigan as three seeds, Indiana and Maryland as fours, and Ohio State and Nebraska as sixes. Northwestern is in the “first four out” category. Autumn Johnson, with NCAA.com, has Indiana upgraded to a three and Ohio State as a five, with the other four staying the same. She has Northwestern in a play-in game for an 11-seed.
Selection Sunday is this coming one, on ESPN at 7PM GTZ. The tournament begins with the first four on March 16th and 17th, and then the first round the following two days. As projected, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Maryland would host their first two (potential) games.
Is Northwestern in?
This poll is closed