Iowa women’s basketball looking to ‘right the wrong,’ advance to Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament

After the Hawkeyes were eliminated in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, they’re determined to make it to the second weekend.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa’s McKenna Warnock talks to the media during the 2023 NCAA Second Round women’s basketball pre-game press conferences for No. 2 Iowa and No. 10 Georgia at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, March 19, 2022.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa women’s basketball has a bad taste in its mouth when it comes to playing No. 10 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. 

Last season, No. 10 Creighton upset No. 2 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 64-62, to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Now, the Hawkeyes are in the same situation: No. 2 Iowa will play No. 10 Georgia at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a trip to the Sweet 16 in Seattle.

But the Hawkeyes aren’t going to let their loss to the Bluejays last season haunt them. Instead, they’re looking to right their wrong from 2022.

“I definitely feel like something was taken from us last season,” fifth-year senior Monika Czinano said. “So, I definitely agree with that, righting the wrong and getting further than we have been before. But I’m not letting Creighton, the loss last year, haunt me or anything like that. That was last year, this is this year. We just have to be us, do what we know how to do, and we’ll handle business.”

Czinano and senior forward McKenna Warnock will both be playing their final game, win or lose, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday afternoon. If the Hawkeyes win, they will head to Seattle for the Sweet 16. If they lose, their season will be over.

And head coach Lisa Bluder wants the pair to go out on a high note.

“I want them to end on a positive note in Carver Hawkeye Arena, with all the blood, sweat and tears that they put into this building,” Bluder said. “You want them to have that experience on their last game here.”

Czinano will be out of eligibility following the season and plans to pursue a professional basketball career in the WNBA and overseas. Warnock decided not to use her extra season of eligibility, as she is applying for dental schools across the country.

“I think right now it’s business,” Warnock said. “But I’m sure [emotions will] hit after the game more. So, it hasn’t really set in yet, but I’m sure it will after, so I’m really hoping — obviously — that’ll be a win after, and there’ll be happy emotions, for sure, alongside those sad ones. But I’m very excited.”

Iowa women’s basketball last went to the Sweet 16 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament — a season marred by COVID-19 precautions. The entire women’s basketball tournament was set in San Antonio because of COVID-19 concerns, eliminating the host and regional sites ahead.

This season, Warnock is hoping to get a normal experience in the second weekend.

“The last time we were at the Sweet 16, it was during COVID,” Warnock said. “So I haven’t been able to, kind of, experience that last game at home. And I think it’d be such a cool way to go out and end my season at Carver with that crowd and going to the Sweet 16 in Seattle, so I think it means everything. I think our team just has so much potential.”

Iowa’s game against Georgia will air on ABC on Sunday afternoon.

Facebook Comments