Women's Basketball

WBB: Saturday’s game against Texas has major Big 12 & NCAA implications

The college basketball season is winding down and for the Iowa State women, even with just two regular season games left to play, there are still a number of different ways the end of the year can play out.

It starts with this Saturday’s game against the No. 18 Texas Longhorns (7:00 p.m. on the Longhorn Network).

Thanks to Kansas State earing a victory against West Virginia on Wednesday night, the Cyclones are a game ahead of the Mountaineers – who end the season with No. 1 Baylor.

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Standings
Position Team Big 12 GB Overall
1 Baylor 16-0 26-1
2 Texas 11-5 5 21-7
3 Iowa State 11-5 5 21-7
4 West Virgina 10-6 6 19-8
5 Kansas State 9-7 7 18-10
6 TCU 9-7 7 19-8
7 Oklahoma State 5-11 11 15-13
8 Oklahoma 4-12 12 8-19
9 Texas Tech 3-13 13 12-15
10 Kansas 2-14 14 12-15

That means, assuming West Virginia drops that last game of the year against the undefeated Lady Bears, Iowa State can win one of its last two games and still end up third in the Big 12 standings – AKA, on the opposite side of the bracket as Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament.

Why is that so big for the Cyclones?

The team still has a chance to finish the year as one of the top 16 teams in the nation. If they accomplish that feat, Iowa State will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Hilton Coliseum – where they own a 15-2 record this season.

That’s about as easy of a road to the second weekend that a Cyclone fan could ask for, especially after missing the tournament last season.

Right now, the Cyclones are projected to be a four seed by ESPN’s Charlie Crème along with South Carolina, Marquette, and Gonzaga.

Even though the team is No. 20 in the rankings, Iowa State sits 11th in the RPI and its resume features a win against No. 3 seed Miami and No. 6 seed Drake, which likely propelled it to that fourth seed.

The Longhorns, on the other hand, are way back in a No. 7 spot, with a resume that features only one win against a ranked opponent: Iowa State.

That makes Saturday’s game very big for the Cyclones, who could get a third game against the Longhorns in the Big 12 semifinals.