How much fun is this going to be?!

The Iowa women's basketball team defeated Rutgers 87-78 Thursday night. The victory gave them two byes in next week's Big Ten Tournament but it also did something else. It assured the Hawkeyes of no worse than a tie for the Big Ten Title IF they can beat the Michigan Wolverines Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

A victory over the Wolverines will not be an easy task. You see, they also have a lot to play for. Michigan is 13-3 in conference play. Iowa and Ohio State are both 13-4. While Ohio State visits Michigan State Sunday afternoon, Iowa entertains Michigan.

Iowa last won the regular-season conference title in 2008. They shared the title that year with Ohio State. Iowa fans have shown that they're ready for the challenge. The University of Iowa announced late Friday morning that Sunday's game is a sellout. It's been a very long time since that's happened.

The Iowa women's basketball team last sold-out Carver-Hawkeye on January 31, 1988. That game featured Ohio State as the opponent.

The Buckeyes have been part of some big games over the years at the Iowa City arena. I was one of the 22,157 in attendance on February 3, 1985, when Iowa beat Ohio State 56-47. You talk about an unforgettable day. That crowd set a national attendance record for a women's college basketball game. It broke the previous record by 11,535 people.

Sunday afternoon, you'll see 15,500 people inside the home of the Hawks as Caitlin Clark adds to her two-year point total of 1,504. Iowa announced early this morning that she reached that mark (1,500 points) faster than any Division 1 (men's or women's player) in the last two decades.

Obviously, Clark (#22) is a superstar. The likely national player of the year is averaging 27.1 points per game, tops in the nation. Michigan has its own star player. #00 Naz Hillmon averages 21.2 points per game.

The University of Iowa warned fans that they are "anticipating high demand and fraudulent ticket activity for Sunday's game. Fans should be aware of potential scams and always purchase from a guaranteed source."

The 21st ranked Hawkeyes (19-7 overall) host #6 Michigan (22-4 overall) at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

Is it too early for a 'Let's Go Hawks' chant? Monika Czinano (#25) and the rest of this team are ready to hear you roar.

Brian Ray, Hawkeyesports.com
Brian Ray, Hawkeyesports.com
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