A Bumper Big Ten Crop?

March 9, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A bumper crop?

If you consider the current predictions of ESPN’s “Bracketologists” — Joe Lunardi on the men’s side and Charlie Crème on the women’s – the Big Ten Conference will have a significant presence in March Madness.

The `Madness’ in 2009 will include the University of Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa City and, specifically, Lisa Bluder and the Iowa Hawkeyes, will entertain four of the nation’s top women’s college basketball teams in the country. Bluder’s Bunch and three others will play two games on Sunday, Mar. 22, with the winners of those contests squaring off on Tuesday, Mar. 24.

Click HERE to purchase tickets online. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Crème said today during a teleconference with media nationwide that he would be surprised if the Big Ten didn’t have five teams involved in the women’s tournament and the number could grow to six depending on what the NCAA Selection Committee decides on the Indiana Hoosiers.

“I’d be really surprised if the Big Ten did not get five (teams invited), Things became much clearer in the last few weeks and, in fact, there appears to be a very distinct pecking order with Ohio State clearly the best followed by Purdue,” said Crème.

He didn’t hesitate with the next group, noting that both Iowa and Michigan State are “definitely in,” but noted that Michigan State had “slid” in the last few weeks.

Crème also believes Minnesota is going to be invited to participate but isn’t as optimistic with respect to IU.

“They’re right there, but I don’t think they’ll make it,” he said.

Lundardi has eight Big Ten teams participating in his most recent version of the bracket for the men’s tournament. That number is a season high and has grown by two over the last week.