Iowa, ISU women selected as NCAA tourney hosts

Both Iowa and Iowa State have been selected as host cities for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournaement.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee selected Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Hilton Coliseum as host sites for first and second rounds, which will take place March 22-25. The Hawkeyes also hosted the first two rounds last season.

“We are extremely excited to host first and second round NCAA tournament games again this season,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “This gives the University of Iowa and our women’s basketball team a chance to showcase our great arena for a second straight year. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host this terrific event”

The first and second rounds will remain a four-team format and both Iowa and Iowa State will be guaranteed to play at home if either is awarded a berth into the NCAA tournament.

“We are honored to again be chosen as a host site for the NCAA first and second round,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “The committee is well aware of the passionate fan base Iowa State has for women’s basketball. They also know our athletic department and the city of Ames will host a great event for the teams and their fans.”

The 2014 NCAA Championship will mark the 13th time that Iowa has served as a host and the seventh time for Iowa State.

Iowa last hosted last season when it beat Miami (Fla.) in round one and lost to top-seeded Notre Dame in the second round.

Iowa State last hosted in 2011-12 when the Cyclones fell to 10th-ranked Green Bay. In 2009, ISU beat Lehigh and Green Bay to punch its ticket into the Sweet 16.

Iowa State has ranked in the top 10 nationally in attendance every year since 1999-2000, including ranking second nationally last season.

“We are grateful to have been selected to host the women’s first and second rounds, bringing this prestigious event back to Hilton Coliseum,” Iowa State Senior Associate Athletics Director Calli Sanders said. “We look forward to showcasing our women’s basketball program, fervent fan base and Iowa State University again on this national stage.”

In the 2013 NCAA tournament, Carver-Hawkeye Arena drew 6,836 fans in round one and 4,942 in round two, which ranked third and sixth best among the 16 host sites. The 11,778 total fans in attendance for both rounds also ranked fifth overall.

“The news of us hosting is a testament to our amazing fan base,” Bluder said. “They have always showed great support, not only for Iowa women’s basketball but for NCAA women’s basketball. We are very happy that our fans will get a chance to see NCAA tournament games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.”