Miami-Iowa Preview

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

programs.

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

and chicken.

“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

enough.

“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

postseason.”

The Hurricanes are led by Morgan Stroman (12.8 ppg) and Stefanie

Yderstrom (12.0), but have four other players averaging at least

6.0 points.

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.