Iowa enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed but their coach Lisa Bluder is unhappy with the Big Ten tournament that scheduled three games for her team in as many days.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder is furious with what she described as “unsafe” treatment by the Big Ten before the NCAA Tournament.

Her college basketball team is preparing for another NCAA Tournament campaign, aiming to go one better than it did in 2023 by claiming the title for the first time in program history.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder criticized the Big Ten tournament schedule which saw her team play three days in a row

But before commencing the tournament against either Holy Cross or the University of Tennessee Martin on Saturday, Bluder voiced her frustrations with the grueling schedule her team faced in the recent Big Ten Tournament.


In the space of three days, Iowa, led by superstar guard Caitlin Clark, played against Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska. It claimed victory in each game to win the Big Ten title, but it took apparently its toll on the players.

The congested schedule caused Bluder to criticize the Big Ten for not considering the safety of her team with the number of games in such a short period.

“It was their spring break, so I gave them quite a bit of time off,” coach Bluder said. “We were exhausted after last week. We played three games in less than 48 hours time.

After winning the Big Ten title Iowa enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed.

“That’s unheard of, unsafe really in my opinion. So they were exhausted. Our staff was exhausted. We took Monday and Tuesday off. We practiced really hard Wednesday and Thursday, then I gave them Friday and Saturday off again.


I wanted them to have a reset because today, we practiced. And now it’s go. There’s going to be no time for breaks. This time of year, having your legs under you is really, really important.”

Still, Iowa feels battle-tested entering March Madness. Commenting on the draw and how her team is preparing for the challenges that lie ahead, Bluder said: “Going into this tournament, I feel like we are as prepared as we could be.”

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“Playing in that Florida tournament and the Big Ten Tournament, where it’s three games in three days,” she added. “That requires so much mentally to be able to do that. Flush the last scout, have the new one come in.

“It’s just a credit to our recognition, which I’m very happy about. But it’s just a number, right? We got to the championship game last year as a No. 2 seed. We know No. 1 seeds don’t guarantee anything. Right now, I’m kind of just looking at this week. We try to break this tournament into week segments.

“These two games this week, then the next two. You just try to break it down like that. You look at the overall picture, it can be overwhelming looking at all those teams. But we have a path, and we know what it’s going to take.”