Who? The Hawkeyes of Iowa.
What? A compliment paid to scouts became a nickname for Iowans. Herky's been around long enough to have been a mascot in the Korean War, during which he donned an Army uniform. (I don't think his last name is Pierce, though.)
Where? Iowa City, Iowa. It's home to one of the top MFA writing programs out there.
When? Saturday the 19th, against Gonzaga in Spokane.
Why? That does seem like a slightly lower seed than I thought Iowa might get, and they can't be happy about playing the Zags in Washington.
How? They were an at-large selection from the Big Ten.
Surprise? Perhaps by a seed line or two, but their presence in the tournament should surprise no one.
Who's driving this thing, anyway? Lisa Bluder, since 2000. She was at Drake before she was at Iowa.
Record: 22-8 (10-6 Big Ten)
Best win: Ohio State (H)
Worst loss: Purdue (A)
Notable results: Arkansas State (W, N, 50-47), Northern Iowa (W, H, 75-64). This is probably the kind of schedule I'd make up if I were coaching a BCS team with my eye on the tourney- a couple of other BCS teams, but a nice scattering of strong mid-majors.
Iowa has one of the more delightful nicknames in the league in Kachine "the Machine" Alexander, who averages close to a double-double. Iowa's stats are kind of broken right now, as they're only showing conference numbers, during which time sophomore guard Jaime Printy opened up and put up 17.5 points. Sophomore center Morgan Johnson will be crucial for this team- if they can get her going, she's a 6-5 presence in the middle that a lot of teams can't match, and she'll open things up for Printy, Kamille Wahlin, and Kelly Krei from the outside.