Iowa Makes Huge Leap in National Rankings, Likely #1 Seed in NCAA Tourney
Well, this is a bit of a surprise... and a VERY good one.
Fresh off their 105-72 thrashing of Ohio State in Sunday's Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament championship game, the Iowa Hawkeyes have rocketed in both the Associated Press and USA Today Women's College Basketball Coaches polls.
Over the course of the last eight days, Iowa has defeated three ranked opponents, all of them in the top 14. Iowa beat (#2 in last week's rankings) Indiana, #5 (last week) Maryland, and #14 (last week) Ohio State. They also took out Purdue in the Big Ten quarterfinals on Friday. Sportswriters took notice.
Iowa, which was ranked 7th last week, shot up to #2 in this week's Associated Press Women's College Basketball poll. The poll, released Monday, has South Carolina, 32-0, remaining at #1. Indiana drops just one spot after losing twice in the last eight days. The Hoosiers are #3, with Virginia Tech moving from #8 to #4 in the new poll. Maryland, which lost to Iowa on Saturday, dropped one spot, to #6.
The USA Today Women's College Basketball Coaches poll was released early Tuesday afternoon. That poll has the Iowa women ranked 3rd in the nation. They're up four spots from last week and behind only #1 South Carolina and #2 Indiana.
The two new polls make it very likely Iowa will get a #1 seed when pairings are announced for the 2023 women's NCAA Tournament. That happens this Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
The Iowa women are 26-6 and haven't lost a game to a team ranked outside the Top 10 since a New Year's Day loss to Illinois.
Even if Iowa doesn't end up being a #1 seed, the University of Iowa is guaranteed to be a host site for games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on either Friday and Sunday, March 17 and 19, or Saturday and Monday, March 18 and 20. Iowa hasn't lost a home game since December 1.
Here's to this very fun ride continuing through Sunday, April 2. That's the day of the NCAA Women's Championship game. The game is televised by ABC.