Iowa State women's basketball to play UT Arlington in first round of the NCAA Tournament

Tommy Birch
Des Moines Register

AMES — After a historic regular season that saw the Iowa State women’s basketball team tally a single-season school record 25 victories and 14 Big 12 Conference wins, the Cyclones knew they were headed for the NCAA Tournament. They even knew they had likely earned a strong enough seed to host the first two rounds of the tournament. But heading into Selection Sunday, there were a few more questions up in the air.

Who would the Cyclones play in the first round? What seed would they earn? And what regional would they land in?

The seventh-ranked Cyclones finally have all those answers. Iowa State, a three seed, will play 14-seed UT Arlington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Hilton Coliseum on Friday. The Cyclones, who will indeed host the first two rounds of the tournament, are a part of the Greensboro regional. Also in the regional? Iowa. So, we could be looking at an Iowa/Iowa State showdown in the Sweet 16.

The Iowa State women's basketball team will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

More:Selection Sunday: Iowa and Iowa State could meet in Sweet 16

It’s already been a successful season for Iowa State which was already long assured a trip to the postseason. Iowa State finished second in the Big 12 regular season with just four losses in league play. The only two teams to take down Iowa State were both Baylor and Texas with regular season sweeps. Those two, along with LSU, the only other team to beat Iowa State this season, also reached the NCAA Tournament. Even with the losses, the Cyclones put together an impressive resume. 

More on the Cyclone men:Selection Sunday: Iowa State draws 11 seed, first-round matchup with LSU

Iowa State had an in-state sweep beating Drake, Iowa and Northern Iowa. The Cyclones also beat Charlotte, Penn State and Massachusetts to win the Gulf Coast Classic. When Big 12 play began, Iowa State didn't miss a beat and rattled off five-straight wins to jump to the top of the conference standings. The Cyclones were in the hunt for a share of the regular season conference crown even until the final day of the day of the regular season. But a victory by Baylor spoiled those dreams. 

Iowa State (26-6) is coming off an overtime loss to Texas in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament. The Cyclones beat West Virginia in the quarterfinals but couldn't keep up with the Longhorns in an physically intense matchup for the third time this season. 

Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.