2019 NCAA TOURNAMENT

NCAA Sweet 16 time and travel not ideal for Iowa women's basketball

It's a morning game, a long way from home, but the Hawkeyes vow to 'bring our own energy'

The Iowa Hawkeyes huddle before starting practice at Greensboro Coliseum on Friday. The Hawkeyes face North Carolina State in an NCAA women’s basketball regional-semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. (Iowa time) Saturday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
The Iowa Hawkeyes huddle before starting practice at Greensboro Coliseum on Friday. The Hawkeyes face North Carolina State in an NCAA women’s basketball regional-semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. (Iowa time) Saturday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Who’s a morning person? Kathleen Doyle is.

“One hundred percent, yes, I am a morning person,” said Doyle, whose energy runs off the chart no matter what the clock reads.

“I don’t know if any of my teammates are, but yes, I definitely am.

The eighth-ranked Hawkeyes (28-6) will be up and at ‘em early Saturday. Their NCAA women’s basketball regional semifinal with No. 10 North Carolina State (28-5) drew the 10:30 a.m. CT slot in a game that will be televised by ESPN.

Who’s a morning person? Hannah Stewart is not.

“Not at all,” she said. “I wish I was.

“I don’t think it will be any issue, though. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier this week.”

The Hawkeyes flew into North Carolina on Thursday, a flight of 918 miles. Raleigh — home of N.C. State — is only 80 miles away from Greensboro Coliseum.

Advantage, Wolfpack.

“We know that North Carolina State will have a home-court advantage, but we’re still confident,” Iowa’s Makenzie Meyer said.

But what kind of crowd will the Wolfpack draw? In the first two rounds, at Raleigh, the attendance was 2,769 and 2,683.

Iowa, on the other hand, had crowds of 10,720 and 12,376 and that sum of 23,096 is an NCAA preliminary-rounds record.

Who’s a morning person? Tania Davis is.

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“Definitely,” she said. “I have one class this semester, and I’m waking up at 7 every morning.”

Davis will be fully alert Saturday. This is her last shot at something big, and this is why she came to Iowa.

“I came here to make long postseason runs,” said Davis, whose sophomore and junior seasons were cut short due to knee injuries. “When we were freshmen, we thought we were going to be great. It’s been a humbling experience.”

Who’s a morning person? Meyer is.

“I have an 8 o’clock class, so I have to get up early every day anyway,” she said. “Plus, I’m a big breakfast fan.

“I’ll have an omelet (Saturday morning) and be ready to go.”

The Hawkeyes have no control over the time or site of Saturday’s game. They control only themselves.

“There’s nothing we can do about that,” Doyle said. “We have fans coming too. We’re going to play, and we’re going to bring our own energy.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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