Iowa vs Baylor Live : The Baylor vs Iowa DI Women’s Basketball game, clash in the Greensboro Region final will feature a matchup of two of the nation’s best centers. the Iowa State Cyclones and Baylor Bears have to feel optimistic about their 2019 NCAA Tournament chances, No. 19 Iowa State stayed with No. 1 Baylor for over three quarters Monday night, but ultimately lost 67-49 in the championship game,
Baylor (34-1) is certainly wary of Iowa, which has won 13 of its last 14 games, including the Big Ten tournament.The Lady Bears have seen their share of who’s-who opponents lately, including Big 12 Player of the Year Bridget Carleton of Iowa State in the conference tournament, California star center Kristine Anigwe, and South Carolina’s crafty coach, Dawn Staley.
So here comes another one.“Everything they do offensively goes through Gustafson, and she is a tremendous player,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “And if you try to go down there and double her or help, she has perimeter players that shoot the 3-ball that you can’t leave them open. While she’s the best player in the country according to ESPN, she isn’t doing it by herself. She has plenty of help around her.”
Mulkey’s description sounds a lot like how Baylor’s opponents have talked about the Lady Bears this season.It’s possibly, maybe even likely, that the Hawkeyes and Lady Bears frontcourts could cancel each other out and the fans in Greensboro Coliseum as well as those watching on ESPN2 will be treated to a guard-driven battle.
“I think they’re going to shoot a lot more 3s than South Carolina did,” Cox said. “I think they’re going to shoot a lot more 3s and establish their post presence early.”On the flip side, Iowa will be on the alert for some of the same things.
“They definitely have a great group of guards that we’re going to have to try to disrupt,” Iowa point guard Kathleen Doyle said. “All we can do is try to make their life as hard as possible.”The Lady Bears will be attempting to make it out of the state of North Carolina for the first time in four tries when they face Iowa on Monday night.
Both Baylor’s Kalani Brown and Iowa’s Megan Gustafson are among five finalists for the Lisa Leslie Award, given to the top center in the country.It’s almost a certainty that the ESPN2 broadcast of the Baylor-Iowa Elite Eight matchup will start by hyping up the clash of the centers.And fair enough, since Iowa center Megan Gustafson and Baylor center Kalani Brown are both finalists for the Lisa Leslie Award, given to the top center in women’s college basketball.
That’s the big, bold headline for Baylor vs. Iowa, which will tip off at 6 p.m. CT on Monday at Greensboro Coliseum. And it’s a ready-made TV promo for the hours leading up to the game.
Brown is a two-time All-American and was the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year in 2018. At 6-foot-7, she’s a dominant force, as proven by her 2,100 career points and 1,100 career rebounds. Gustafson is the espnW national player of the year this season. The 6-3 Hawkeyes center leads the nation in scoring at 27.9 points per game and field-goal percentage at 70.2. Like Brown, she’s well past 2,000 career points and 1,000 career boards.
Those are superstar qualifications. And what’s more amazing is that each center has a top-notch forward as a frontcourt teammate. On Sunday, the media covering the Greensboro Region went beyond the Brown vs. Gustafson battle and focused on Baylor’s Brown and Lauren Cox against Iowa’s Gustafson and forward Hannah Stewart.
“Not very many times do teams have two bigs anymore,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “It’s kind of unusual. It’s hard sometimes to have one good big on a team. … I think it’s going to be a great matchup. We have to keep them off the boards. They do a great job of rebounding.”
Baylor made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001 in Durham, when the Lady Bears were defeated in the first round by No. 9 seed Arkansas. Baylor returned to North Carolina in 2007 as a No. 5 seed and lost in the second round against fourth-seeded N.C. State in Raleigh. And in 2009, No. 3 seed Louisville upset No. 2 seed Baylor in the Sweet 16 back in Raleigh.
Lisa Bluder channeled her inner Herb Brooks on Sunday, taking a line from his “Miracle on Ice” pregame speech.
“If we play (Baylor) 10 times, maybe they win nine,” said Bluder, women’s basketball coach at the University of Iowa. “But maybe that one time is (Monday).”