Green Bay women a No. 7 seed, open at Iowa State
Wisconsin-Green Bay's one-loss season didn't lead to the high NCAA tournament seed the Phoenix were hoping for.
Green Bay is a No. 7 seed in the Kingston, R.I., region of the women's tournament and will face No. 10 seed Iowa State on Saturday. And they'll be traveling to Ames, Iowa, for the game - essentially a home game for the Cyclones.
After Green Bay (30-1) won the Horizon League tournament championship on Sunday, coach Matt Bollant said he was hoping for a No. 5 seed or better. That didn't happen when the brackets were announced Monday night, but Bollant wasn't going to dwell on it.
''Well, we talk all the time in this program, you can't control where we go,'' Bollant told reporters in Green Bay. ''We can't control what seed they give us. We can control how well we play.''
Green Bay was No. 10 in the final poll released Monday. Senior Julie Wojta acknowledged that the Phoenix thought they would get a better seed.
''Yeah, well, we thought we were going to get a little bit higher than a seven seed but we're excited to get to play,'' Wojta said.
Senior Hannah Quilling said the real challenge will be playing against the Cyclones at home.
''You know, you'll take whatever seed you can get, but the hard part is playing on someone else's home court,'' Quilling said. ''But at the end of the day when the ball goes up it's still basketball and we're excited about that.''
Bollant said the Phoenix are ready for anything - even a big, pro-Cyclones crowd.
''I bet they'll have 10,000 fans,'' Bollant said. ''About two years ago they had 8,000 and they've averaged almost 11,000 this year so we're going to need our fans to come down and be loud.''
Iowa State was 18-12 this year, but only two of its losses came at home.
''It's very loud, they love their program there,'' junior Adrian Ritchie said. ''But we're used to that. ... I think we can stay together and use that as fire and use that as an underdog (mentality). I think when we're told that we're not supposed to win maybe we'll get in their head. They don't like losing on that home floor so I think it's going to help us.''
If the Phoenix advance, they would face the winner of No. 2 seed Kentucky vs. No. 15 seed McNeese St.
The Phoenix lost only once this season, a 70-58 loss to Detroit at home Feb. 9. Green Bay beat Detroit 66-53 on Sunday to win the Horizon League conference tournament and enters the NCAA tournament on a 10-game winning streak.
Now they'll try to repeat, then exceed, last year's tournament run.
A No. 5 seed last year, Green Bay beat Arkansas-Little Rock and Michigan State to advance to the regional semifinals, where they lost to Baylor 86-76.
The Phoenix are led by Wojta, who is averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game with 3.6 steals and 3.5 assists. Wojta shoots 52.2 percent from the field. Green Bay has a pair of outside shooting threats, guard Ritchie and forward Lydia Bauer. Wojta can shoot from 3-point range as well.
''The amazing thing about our players, it doesn't matter who they play, we believe we can win,'' Bollant said. ''And we're going to go out and say we believe we can win.''