No. 7 Seed Green Bay Battles No. 10 Seed Iowa State Saturday
By: Jill Wunrow
***APPROXIMATE TIP TIME NOW 5:50 P.M.***
AMES, Iowa (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - As the No. 7 seed in the Kingston region, Green Bay (30-1, 17-1 HL) faces No. 10 seed Iowa State (18-12, 9-9 Big 12) Saturday, Mar. 17 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2. For the second time in program history, the Phoenix is making its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament while the Cyclones are making their sixth-straight appearance.
Both teams are making their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Green Bay earned a seven seed after a 30-1 season, winning a record-14th consecutive regular season Horizon League championship. Iowa State is one of seven Big 12 teams selected to the field of 64 after advancing to the Big 12 championship game.
Saturday's game marks the third meeting between Green Bay and Iowa State, all coming in postseason play with the Cyclones owning a 2-0 series record. Both games were decided by an average 6.0 points and both were played in Ames, Iowa. Green Bay fell 79-71 in the first round of the WNIT Mar. 16, 2006 and led the majority of its most recent meeting with the Cyclones Mar. 23, 2010 before being edged 60-56 in the final second in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Since its last meeting against Iowa State in 2010, Green Bay has compiled an impressive record of 64-3. Green Bay is 5-12 overall in NCAA Tournament appearances and 3-3 under fifth year head coach Matt Bollant while the Cyclones are 16-12 all time in NCAA Championship games. Iowa State is one of just 16 teams to make the NCAA Championship field in each of the last six seasons.
Green Bay joins a list of 20 teams (including Baylor, Stanford, and Delaware this season) who entered the NCAA Tournament with at least 30 wins and no more than one loss. All 16 of the previous teams advanced at least as far as the Sweet 16.
With an appearance in this year's tournament, seniors Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) and Hanning Quilling have played in more NCAA Tournament games (7) than any other Phoenix players in the 39-year history of the program. Under Bollant, all six of the NCAA Tournament games have been decided by 10 or fewer points. Green Bay's wins have been by an average of five points while its losses have been by an average of eight points.
Of the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament, the Phoenix ranks second in turnover margin (+9.19) behind Kentucky (10.9) who is also featured in the Ames, Iowa site. Green Bay's scoring margin (+20.1) ranks sixth while its 12.5 steals per game is seventh among the field of 64. The Cyclones 7.3 three-point field goals per game ranks sixth among teams in the tournament.
BOLLANT VS. THE BIG 12... The four-time Horizon League Coach of the Year, Bollant is 1-2 against opponents from the Big 12 Conference. Bollant led the Phoenix to a 68-56 win over Kansas State in his first season with the Phoenix. In addition to the loss against Iowa State in 2010, Green Bay fell 86-76 to Baylor in the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in the 2011 tournament.
FROM POTENTIAL TO POTENTIAL ALL-AMERICANS... Both Green Bay and Iowa State will both feature potential All-Americans leading their respective teams in Horizon League Player and Defensive Player of the Year Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) and Chelsea Poppens, respectively. Wojta leads the phoenix with 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, posting 18 double doubles this season. In Green Bay's 2010 NCAA Tournament appearance in Ames, as a sophomore, Wojta averaged 11 points and seven rebounds.
Poppens, a unanimous All-Big 12 selection this season as a junior, averages 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game to lead Iowa State. As a starting freshman, the 6-foot-2 Poppens had eight points and five rebounds in a 60-56 second-round win over Green Bay.
Both Wojta and Poppens were recently named All-Region nominees for the WBCA Division I Coaches' All-American Team. Wojta and Poppens are two of 52 players to receive the honor for their respective regions.
RELIABLE RITCHIE... Second Team All-League selection Adrian Ritchie has proven to be reliable for the Phoenix when it comes to NCAA Tournament play. In her five NCAA Tournament games, the 5-foot-11 guard is averaging 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. In last season's second round win over Michigan State, Ritchie poured in a game-high 20 points, going 4-of-5 from three-point range. Ritchie thrives under deadline situations as twice this season she has made last-minute game-deciding shots. The junior sank a three with 0.6 second remaining against then No. 25 Georgia Tech to send the game into overtime. After Green Bay trailed by nine with 59 seconds to play in regulation against Youngstown State, Ritchie poured in nine points, including three game-tying free throws with 19 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
ON TELEVISION...Green Bay's contest against Iowa State can be watched on ESPN2 and ESPN3. To watch the game on ESPN3.com, click here.
LIVE CHAT... During the game on Saturday evening, fans can participate in a live chat and share their comments with GreenBayPhoenix.com. To access the live chat and sign up for an email reminder, visit the Tournament Central Page.
SOCIAL MEDIA... As always, Green Bay will keep you up to speed with the Phoenix on and off the court through social media. Follow and like the following for the latest updates, pictures and information from Iowa.
The meeting between Green Bay, the Horizon League regular season and tournament champions and Iowa State, an at-large bid from the Big XII Conference, will take place at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, March 17 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Green Bay has an unblemished road record of 12-0 while Iowa State is 14-2 this season on its home court. The winner will play either second-seeded Kentucky (25-6) or No. 15 seed, McNeese State (26-7) on Monday, March 19.
For ticketing information, please visit Cyclones.com. Single-session and all-session ticket packages are available. All-session tickets can be purchased for $30 for adults and $25 for youth (high school and younger). Single-session tickets are being sold for $18 for adults and #13 for youth.
To follow all of the action throughout Green Bay's trip to the NCAA Tournament, check out Tournament Central presented by Taco Bell.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.