Scouting the Iowa Hawkeyes: Looking at CU women’s basketball’s next NCAA Tournament foe

·2 min read

Most outsiders didn’t expect the CU Buffs to make it this far.

Some were even calling for No. 6 seed Colorado to get upset by No. 11 Middle Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. When that didn’t happen, surely the Buffs couldn’t upset No. 3 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Well, that happened too.

And following a 61-53 overtime win over the Blue Devils, the Buffs will move on to the Sweet 16 to face an Iowa team with one of the best overall shooters in the sport, Caitlin Clark. Putting up 26.8 points per game with a 38% clip from deep, Clark leads an up-tempo, high-octane offense that averages 87.4 points per contest — good for No. 1 nationally.

To go along with Clark is forward Monica Czinano, who put up 20 points and nine rebounds in No. 2 seed Iowa’s win over Georgia in the second round.

The Hawkeyes have many scoring options in Clark, Czinano and Gabbie Marshall, the latter of whom went 5-for-8 from deep for Iowa against Georgia and has done well for herself in an elevated role. But defense is another story entirely.

For as prolific as their offense is, it’s the exact opposite for the Hawkeyes defensively as they’ve allowed an average of 70.4 points per game this season, ranking them No. 304 in the nation out of 350 Division I teams.

In order for the Buffs to come out victorious in the Sweet 16, they could have to win a shootout, but Iowa’s leaky defense could afford the upset-minded Buffs the opportunity.

Colorado takes on Iowa at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. MT on ESPN.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire