5 thoughts on the women’s NCAA Tournament bracket for the Iowa Hawkeyes

The regular season was fun. The Big Ten Tournament was even better. Now, we get to the women’s NCAA Tournament, the best of them all.

The real fun begins now as it is win-or-go-home from here on out. There are no chances to bounce back and no do-overs. The Iowa Hawkeyes‘ season has led to this point and the successes of the season have them primed for a run.

The bracket is set and there are some curious things on the Hawkeyes’ side of the bracket that are rather intriguing with what the storylines could be, the matchups in play, and the chances to get to banner games.

Anything less than a strong showing and advancing in this tournament will leave Iowa feeling underwhelmed after what their year has been. Here are five thoughts on the Iowa Hawkeyes’ side of the women’s NCAA Tournament bracket before things get underway.

Two more chances to pack Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Syndication: HawkCentral

Hosting the first two rounds is an advantage for any team in the tournament, but when you host at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with the way that place fills up for this team, it is monumentally advantageous.

Iowa gets to host the first two rounds. Barring any sort of historic upset in the first round against No. 15 Southeastern Louisiana, Hawkeye fans get two more chances to show up and show out for their squad. By the way, it didn’t take long for Iowa fans to pounce on that opportunity.

It is Iowa's Sweet 16 spot to lose

Syndication: HawkCentral

Let’s call a spade a spade. Anything short of advancing to the Sweet 16 is an extraordinarily underwhelming and disappointing showing. The spot in the Sweet 16 coming out of Iowa City is simply Iowa’s spot to lose.

Iowa should handle business in the first round and will draw the winner of No. 7 Florida State (23-9) versus No. 10 Georgia (21-11). Yes, both are from Power 5 conferences, but neither are on the same level as the Hawkeyes. The first goal of this tournament is the Sweet 16 and nothing less.

Blue blood matchup in the Sweet 16

William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Now things get fun. If Iowa makes it to the Sweet 16, odds are that they could run into the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils for a matchup against a blue blood basketball school.

Iowa and Duke met in 2021 when Duke upset No. 8 ranked Iowa by a score of 79-64 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Getting revenge with a spot in the Elite 8 on the line would taste quite sweet for the Hawkeyes.

Chance to make an Elite 8 statement

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Iowa should have been a No. 1 seed. Plain and simple. Win the Big Ten Tournament and finish the year ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25 is worthy of a one seed.

If Iowa can get to the Elite 8, their potential matchup could be No. 1 Stanford. This game would be Iowa’s chance to prove to the committee how they got it wrong and make a loud statement.

Caitlin Clark vs. Aliyah Boston Final Four matchup

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Let’s just say it: This matchup wouldn’t be to see who is the Player of the Year. This matchup would be to show why Caitlin Clark is the Player of the Year in women’s basketball.

Clark and Aliyah Boston have been the talk of women’s basketball all year long as household names and among every award list together. This would be a monstrous meeting of the game’s two largest stars on the center stage in the Final Four.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire