Hawks excited for sold out Carver, starting NCAA Tournament on home court

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - “I think more than anything, there’s just excitement for what’s to come, knowing what our team is capable of. I’m definitely going to have to take a Melatonin. I’m going to be very wired, but I’m so excited,” said senior center Monika Czinano.

Whatever works right? For the fourth time in program history and second time this season, the Iowa women have sold out Carver Hawkeye Arena ahead of their first round NCAA Tournament game against Illinois State.

“This doesn’t happen many places in the country for women’s basketball and I’m just thankful this community supports us like they do,” said sophomore Caitlin Clark. “I mean it’s spring break, there’s not that many people downtown anyway, so to have it sold out is pretty incredible. To have that excitement around our game, I’m not sure of any other place, probably South Carolina is sold out too, but other than that, I’m not sure it’s going to be sold out anywhere else.”

Their other sellout this season came in their regular season finale against Michigan where the Hawkeyes put up 104 points.

“It makes me feel like our product is appreciated by our fans. That they’re excited about watching us, excited about supporting us. It doesn’t happen everywhere,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “There’s a lot off really good basketball teams across the country that don’t get the support from their communities and from their state like we do.”

The Hawks are a team that absolutely feeds off the energy from their crowd. Although they’re coming off a Sweet 16 appearance, they didn’t get the full effect in their last go around.

“This is my favorite month of the year. I just love it . I love basketball, I always have growing up. This is what I dreamed of and we get to do it on our home court, in front of a sold out crowd and I don’t think we can ask for anything better honestly,” added Clark.

The team has had a full 12 days to prep for the national stage. They’re champing at the bit to get back on the court.

“I don’t think they’ve lost any step or any drive or anything like that having this time off,” said Bluder. “I think more than anything, they’re so excited to get out and play in front of this crowd again and have the opportunity to play in Carver.”

Iowa and Illinois State are set to tip off at 3 PM.

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