Iowa is one of only 13 programs that’s playing in its sixth
consecutive NCAA tournament, but those March memories haven’t often
been very pleasant.
After suffering upset losses in the second round the past two
seasons, Miami’s experiences haven’t been very positive either.
The ninth-seeded Hawkeyes should at least have the crowd on
their side Sunday in Iowa City as they face No. 8 Miami for the
likely right to earn a date with one of the nation’s powerhouse
Iowa and Miami have a lot of similarities. Both teams have
registered big wins and weathered tough stretches, and they both
have the flexibility to score inside and outside.
The Hawkeyes (20-12) once had more wins against ranked opponents
than any other team in the country. But Iowa lost six of seven
games later in the season before pulling a few wins out at the end
to secure the NCAA bid.
The Hurricanes (21-10) knocked off top 10 teams Penn State and
Duke, but also dropped five games in January.
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder was savoring the opportunity to play at
home, where the Hawkeyes ranked in the top 20 in attendance this
season. She planned to have the team over to her house for lasagna
“This afternoon was kind of weird,” Bluder said Saturday. “I’m
at home cleaning my kitchen. Not sure if that’s what most coaches
are doing during NCAA tournament time.”
Miami coach Katie Meier once dreamed of playing for the Hawkeyes
as a high school guard in Wheaton, Ill., after two of her sisters
and a brother attended school at Iowa.
Meier ended up at Duke after then-Iowa coach Vivian Stringer
didn’t offer a scholarship. Meier admitted she probably wasn’t good
“I’m not bitter,” Meier joked. “I still have the letter – no,
just kidding, I don’t.”
Iowa is led by senior center Morgan Johnson, who averages team
highs of 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. To Meier,
though, it’s the Hawkeyes’ fourth-leading scorer, sophomore guard
Samantha Logic (9.0 ppg), who could be key.
Logic’s 26-point, nine-rebound performance in a 72-52 win at
Purdue on Feb. 17 particularly stood out.
“Samantha Logic is incredibly important,” Meier told Iowa’s
official website. “That Purdue game, they are unbeatable when she
plays that way. I thought that was one of the best responses by a
women’s basketball team the entire season … they were determined
to win that game, and that’s what kind of launched them into the
The Hurricanes are led by Morgan Stroman (12.8 ppg) and Stefanie
Yderstrom (12.0), but have four other players averaging at least
Miami has been a No. 3 seed in the last two NCAA tournaments but
was upset in the second round each time. Stroman certainly did her
part in last season’s 88-83 loss to Oklahoma, finishing with 18
points and 14 rebounds.
Iowa, meanwhile, has won just one game during its run of five
straight tournament appearances. It fell to eighth-seeded Cal in
the first round a year ago, when, just like this year, a victory
would have given it a shot against top-seeded Notre Dame.
That matchup, of course, is assuming the Irish can get past
Tennessee-Martin in Sunday’s first game in Iowa City.