Selection Monday is five weeks away.
But the women’s basketball teams from Iowa and Iowa State have put themselves in a position to host first- and second-round games in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA revealed its top 16 teams Monday, and both the Hawkeyes and Cyclones are in the club.
Iowa (19-5) is projected as a No. 3 seed as part of the Portland Region; ISU (18-5) is a 4 seed in the Chicago Region.
Mississippi State, Oregon, Baylor and Louisville are the current No. 1 seeds. Defending national champion Notre Dame is a 2, along with perennial power Connecticut, North Carolina State and Stanford.
Oregon State, Maryland and Marquette join the Hawkeyes on the 3 lines, while the Cyclones are joined by Miami, Gonzaga and South Carolina as the 4s.
The top four seeds in each region are eligible to host the first two rounds March 22-25. Iowa last hosted in 2015 as a 3 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Of course, much can change between now and selection night (March 18). Iowa State has an RPI of 10 as of Monday, Iowa stands at 11.
The Hawkeyes certainly have a drawing card in senior post Megan Gustafson, who earned three awards Monday.
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ESPNW named Gustafson as its national player of the week. The Atlanta Tipoff Club named her as part of its 30-player Citizen Naismith Midseason Team.
And the Big Ten chose her as its player of the week for the 11th time this season, the 21st time of her career.
A consensus All-American last season, Gustafson averaged 35 points and 15 rebounds per game in two wins last week. She is averaging an NCAA-best 27.3 points per game on 70.6-percent shooting (No. 2 nationally). Sunday, she tied a Big Ten record with her 77th career double-double. She has 22 of them this season, which ranks second nationally. Her 12.8 rebounds per game ranks fourth.
Iowa hosts Illinois on Thursday, then entertains Maryland on Sunday. Win both, and the Hawkeyes will be tied for the Big Ten lead.
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