Iowa women a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament

PHOTO BY BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM • The Iowa Hawkeyes celebrate after finding out their seed in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes will face Creighton on Saturday in Los Angeles.

IOWA CITY — The Iowa women’s basketball team has received an at-large berth into the NCAA Championships, as announced on Monday.

The Hawkeyes (24-7) are a No. 6 seed and will play the No. 11 seed Creighton from the Big East at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Los Angeles inside Pauley Pavilion. The game will be televised on ESPN 2.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder has led the Hawkeyes to 13 NCAA Tournaments, but she said it never gets old learning they are in the field.

“You know we are thrilled, obviously we knew we were going to be in but just to see your name come up, it’s always a thrill every single time,” Bluder said.

Hawkeyes senior Chase Coley said the team was planning on playing it cool when their name came up, but when you get caught up in the pageantry things don’t go as planned.

PHOTO BY BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM

“Even going into it I feel like we had an idea we were going into the tournament but just seeing our name pop up on the screen I don’t think we realized we were all going to jump out of our seats with that much excitement but that is just how much fun it is to make it to this part of the season,” she said.

Iowa junior Megan Gustafson, the only player in Division I to average over 25 points and 12 rebounds per game, will be playing in her first NCAA Tournament game, and she said waiting around to find out who their opponent will be was an intense situation.

“It’s my first time and I am just really excited. It was a little nerve-wracking, not hearing our name until the end but it kind of made it all worth it and we are really excited to go to Los Angeles,” she said.

This year marks the 25th trip to the NCAA Tournament for Iowa. It is the Hawkeye’s first time in the Dance since reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2015 and its the third time in program history they have received a No. 6 seed.

Creighton (18-12) is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and second consecutive trip to the Dance. The Bluejays bowed out in the second round of the Big East Tournament in their last game, falling to Marquette 76-70.