Big Ten Championship Game appearance

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iowa women’s basketball team has surprised me over the past couple weeks.

After going most of the season with zero wins over Associated Press Top 25 teams, Iowa took down ranked Indiana twice in a row on Feb. 19 and 21.

Now, with victories over the then-No. 5 and No. 10 team in the country, the Hawkeyes have clinched a double-bye in the 2022 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis this weekend.

But I still don’t think the Hawkeyes have the chops to win the Big Ten Tournament title.

Indiana lost four of its last five games of the 2021-22 regular season to be the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament — losing out on the double-bye. For a team that was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation this season, it was a lackluster ending.

The Hoosiers, who average 72.7 points a game this season, will come into the postseason with a vengeance. Indiana was projected to be a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, set to host the first two rounds.

If they don’t perform well, they’ll lose their hosting spot. Indiana has everything to lose, and nothing to gain. Iowa will also have to contend with No. 6 Michigan, who has stayed near the top 10 all season.

I just don’t believe that the Hawkeyes’ defensive abilities can keep up with the Hoosiers and the Wolverines. Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said that the Hawkeyes are an offense-minded team, but Iowa’s defense ranks 308th out of 348 Division I teams, allowing 71.3 points per game.

Although the Hawkeyes average 84.7 points per game, there will be a team that comes along to score more points against Iowa’s listless defense. Whether it be against Indiana, Michigan, or another top Big Ten women’s basketball team, I think that time will come in the conference tournament championship game.