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Big Ten Place Four Teams in Round 16 Sweet Women – CBS Baltimore

It’s been seven years since the Big Ten had a team that made it to the Finals of Four and more than two decades since the convention had a national champion in women’s basketball.

With the convention seeing four teams make it to the Sweet Round of 16 for the second year in a row, those streaks could soon be over.

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Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State and Maryland will all play in the regional semifinals this weekend – against the ACC for most of the remaining teams in the NCAA Tournament.

All four coaches cite the difficulty of the conference as one of the main reasons for the success they’ve had so far on the game’s biggest stage.

“I think the most important thing is that we prepare each other for these moments,” said Indiana coach Teri Moren. “It is very good and very competitive so we are prepared for these games. Big Ten prepares us for all the competition we’re seeing right now. “

Indiana made it to the regional finals last season and had most of their teams return from that run. Hoosiers face UConn on Saturday in Sweet 16.

Maryland, which faces Stanford on Friday, was the last team from the Big Ten to make it to the Finals, having done so in 2014. Coach Brenda Frese knows how important it is to have made it to the area before.

“You have to accumulate that experience to get into the Sweet 16s and get to the Elite Eight like Indiana last year,” says Frese. “Your squad has to get that experience. It is great to see 4 teams from five close together make it to the Sweet Round of 16. Teams are gaining a lot of experience to understand these rounds and how difficult it is. ”

Michigan, which takes on South Dakota on Saturday, will play in the Sweet Round of 16 for a second straight time after never having gone far before.

“I’ve been saying that since I came here, the saying Geno (Auriemma) gave me 20 years ago. Getting there is easy, the hard part is there,” said Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico. “When you have a tournament where four teams go against each other in the round of 16, it really says you’ve stayed there and you’ve come.”

All coaches are cheering for each other to succeed. Shortly after the other Big Ten schools progressed, Frese tweeted her excitement for them.

“Brenda has been a true champion on this and is 100% right,” said Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff. “A lot of other leagues out there have TV networks backing their teams. Likewise, we have to be the coach that drives how good we are. We know how good we are. Everyone knows that too.”

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Sixth-seeded Buckeyes will face Texas on Friday

With four girls’ teams advancing to the Round of 16 of Sweet and a few Big Ten boys’ teams still in action, the next few days will be busy for Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. He intends to try to play as many games as he can while observing others on his phone.

He believes his conference is really close to breaking the drought in the national semifinals.

“We’re at the forefront of getting teams to Finals on a regular basis and winning national championships,” Warren said in a phone interview from the airport. “I look forward to seeing them reach the Finals and look forward to the day when I see the national championship trophy presented to them.”

Warren has also made changes to the conference office this season, hiring Megan Kahn in November as the conference’s Vice President of Women’s Basketball.

“It shows a real commitment from Kevin Warren, our commissioner, who is so passionate about women’s bracelets,” said Moren. “His hiring her and actually making this a women’s basketball slot is a huge deal.”

Warren said creating that position was one of his top goals when he was hired.

“I had a list of transformation initiatives and it was one of the top ones,” he said. “The first year we had to deal with COVID, so it was delayed.”

He has also spent the last two years developing relationships with many coaches and players. He went to all the women’s games at the conference tournament and texted them constantly before and after the games.

“They know I’m there. They know I can’t be in two places at once or I’ll be there,” he said. “I will meet Indiana this weekend. Hopefully all four of our teams win, so I can figure out where to go. ”

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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/24/big-ten-places-four-teams-in-womens-sweet-16-again/ Big Ten Place Four Teams in Round 16 Sweet Women – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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