The 2012 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket was released today after the culmination of Big Ten play, and Penn State sure likes the position they’ve wound up in.
It can’t get any better for the Lady Lions, who are the No. 1 seed in the tourney. They will have a bye in the first round of the tournament for the first time since 2004 after finishing 13-3 (23-5 overall) in the Big Ten in the regular season. They won the conference by 2 games over all of the second place finishers. This is the first time in coach Coquese Washington’s tenure at Penn State that the Lady Lions have earned a first round bye.
The Lady Lions are looking at a second round battle with either No. 8 Minnesota (14-16, 6-10 Big Ten) or No. 9 Wisconsin (9-19, 5-11). Penn State is 2-0 against both of them. They’ve beaten Wisconsin by an average of 24 points and Minnesota by an average of 13, with one of those games a 3-point win on the road.
The three remaining top four seeds are No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Iowa, and No. 4 Purdue. Ohio State and Purdue both limped to the season’s finish line. The Buckeyes went 4-4 in their last eight games, with two bad road losses to Minnesota and Illinois (11-18, 5-11). The Boilermakers, meanwhile, went 3-5 in their last eight games after starting Big Ten play 8-0.
On the other hand, the Hawkeyes are on fire and a dangerous tournament team. They lost their star guard Jamie Printy (16.9 points per game) to a torn ACL on Feb. 3, but haven’t lost a game since. Go figure - with Printy active, the Hawkeyes went 4-5 in Big Ten play. With her out, they’ve gone 7-0.
To see the rest of the bracket, follow the link at the end of this article. The astute Lady Lion fan will notice the possibly of a rematch with Michigan State, who Penn State is 0-2 against this year.