IUWBB: Hoosiers No. 9 seed in NCAA tournament

The Hoosiers are in.

For the first time since 2002, Indiana women’s basketball was selected to play in the NCAA tournament. IU was awarded a No. 9 seed and will face No. 8 Georgia in the Lexington region. The game will be played 9 p.m. Saturday in South Bend and will be aired on ESPN2.

Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in the Lexington region and would most likely be the Hoosiers opponent if they were to win in the first round.

Georgia (21-9, 9-7 SEC) lost in the first round of its conference tournament to Vanderbilt, 54-49. Gerogia is led by senior guard Tiaria Griffin, who averages 14.6 points per game. Bulldogs have four other scorers that average between 7.2 and 9.4 points per game. But the Bulldogs’ leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, Shacobia Barbee, at 12.7 points per contest, is out with a leg injury.

It was Moren’s intention before the season to beef up the Hoosiers’ non-conference schedule, not only as prep for conference play but to bolster their tournament resume. It appears the strategy worked. As of this week, Indiana ranked No. 46 in RPI. The Hoosiers beat Michigan State (No. 17) and Chattanooga (No. 40) during the season, with losses to five teams in the RPI top 50.

The rest of the Hoosiers losses were to Ohio (51), Iowa (58), Purdue (66), Minnesota (81) and Wisconsin (198), as well as Northwestern (104) in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

The question was how heavily a one-and-done performance in the conference tournament would weigh against IU’s fourth-place finish in the Big Ten regular season. While the Hoosiers did improve their non-conference competition, they did have a favorable conference slate. IU did not have to face No. 5 Maryland, No. 9 Ohio State or No. 16 MSU – the three Big Ten teams ranked at season’s end – more than once. The Hoosiers also lost at Purdue in their only meeting of 2015-16.

In his final projection, ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme had IU and Purdue among the “last four in,” with IU assigned a No. 10 seed. Indiana ended up one-upping that.

9 comments

  1. A number 9 seed for our girls, much better than we anticipated! I have seen Georgia play at least 4 times this year, they are incredibly athletic and play defense as good as anyone in our conference. This will be a really tough test for girls but, if we play as well as we are capable, we can get it done. Making the “Big Dance” is an incredible accomplishment for our girls this year, all of “Hoosier Nation” should be very proud of these young ladies! Go Hoosiers

  2. The overall body of work this past year for the team and individually has demonstrated quite a bit of steady growth both, on and off the court. Hopefully, this is a spring board that growth will continue next year. Having said that it will be a challenge. I think the program is in good hands with T. Moren and staff. Program has to continue to get more athletic with physical bigger taller athletes. The current group chemistry is really good and hopefully shooting all over the court will improve. Congratulations on a really good effort. Effort was always there this year.

  3. I was watching the sec network earlier tonight and 9 sec teams made the tourney, that should tell a lot about our opponet. Ga missed the tourney last year so they are hungry this year to make some noise. One of their best players had acl injury and is out but they do have 3 seniors in the starting lineup. This will be a tough chore , hope our girls are up to the task.

  4. Just a heads up on a quote about Tyra Buss on the ESPNW website. Go to the ESPN website, at the top the page just to the right of NHL there are 3 horizontal dots, put your cursor on them and a box will drop down, in the box click on NCAAW, then click on the article entitled “Five burning questions of the Women’s NCAA Tournament”. Read the article all the way to the bottom, at the bottom there is a 5 part section ending with “players to watch, Tyra is the first player mentioned. Pretty cool.

  5. Mike C. I guess as IU basketball fans in particular and women fans in general we dig for every possible bit of info. I read that entire grouping under “buringing questions”. There is another section where there is an interesting tidbit. Under “expert picks breaking down the bracketts” there are several listings . One being “Worse team than their seed” which one expert had Georgia. Im not so sure about that but it is interesting for IU fans.

  6. Steve W, hope the girls don’t see that statement. Anything we don’t need is a feeling of a possible inferior opponent. Although I don’t think that will happen after the conference tournament loss to Northwestern. As I mentioned in an earlier post, although Georgia is missing an important player, they are INCREDIBLY athletic, much more than us. They are not any bigger than us but, their athleticism is a strength to be sure. This will be a test of wills, our offensive execution against their defensive will. Having seen them several times this year, they are not a really good offensive team but, they score a lot of points off their great defense. Our offensive execution will be paramount to our success! Go Hoosiers!

  7. #1 Our defense has to be strong, cant allow easy movement thru the paint as weve shown in the past. #2 Hopefully we will be able to hit some 3’s . Winning in the tourney comes to the teams that are hot, on a roll. Hopefully that will happen with us and we can get a win on saturday- Go Hoosiers!!

  8. I have watched the vid many times as Im sure many have. I was having a little fun watching the reaction vid to the selection. I paused it as I wanted to see the very first reaction to our matchup and it was quite obvious that Mcbride was intensely on needles and pins as she reacted first followed quickly by everyone else. Never get tired of watching it and my eyes seem to never cease welling up as I share their joy from a distance. Go IU – show em who you are on saturday!!

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