9 seed • Oklahoma City Region

Round 1: vs. (8) Minnesota.

You’ll read more about the Blue Demons, the Gophers’ first-round opponent, before Friday’s game, but a player to know now is the ultra-quick Jessica January, who led Richfield to the state tournament for the first time in school history in 2012. The 5-7 guard is one of five players averaging in double-figures (11.6 ppg) for the high-scoring Blue Demons.



3 seed • Oklahoma City Region

Round 1: vs. (14) American.

The 18th-ranked Hawkeyes get a lot from Bethany Doolittle (Hill-Murray). The senior center has led Iowa in blocks and rebounds in each of its past three games. Doolittle had a monster against Northwestern in mid-January, racking up 29 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in that big victory. Chase Coley (Washburn) and Kali Peschel (Sauk Centre) also contribute off the bench to a Hawkeyes team that finished second in the Big Ten.


Iowa State

10 seed • Albany, N.Y., Region

Round 1: vs. (7) Dayton.

A pair of Minnesotans help drive the Cyclones. Seanna Johnson (DeLaSalle), averaging 11.7 points and 9.3 rebounds, had a strong showing against No. 5 Baylor in Iowa State’s last big victory on Feb. 28. Johnson’s brother, Jarvis, is a senior at DeLaSalle and committed to play at Minnesota. Bryanna Fernstrom (Chisago Lakes) is a 6-5 freshman who led the team in scoring five times this season.



7 seed • Oklahoma City Region

Round 1: vs. (10) Arkansas.

Nia Coffey, the super sophomore from Hopkins, leads the No. 22 Wildcats in scoring (15.8 points per game), rebounding (8.9 rebounds) and blocks (1.8 blocks), first-team all-Big Ten. Coffey and Amanda Zahui B. are the only players to rank in the Big Ten’s top 10 in all three of those categories.


Green Bay

9 seed • Spokane Region

Round 1: vs. (8) Princeton.

Red Wing’s Tesha Buck, a sophomore guard, took her freewheeling style and ubiquitous headband to Green Bay and has become the Phoenix’ most complete player, averaging 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Buck was named the Horizon League tournament MVP after double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) in the title game. Fergus Falls-native Mariah Monke has been hampered by an ankle injury. Ellen Edison, a senior from Maple Grove, plays sparingly.


South Dakota State

14 seed • Spokane Region

Round 1: vs. (3) Oregon State.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call South Dakota State “Minnesota West.” The Summit League champions have eight Minnesotans: Alexis Alexander, Champlin Park; Megan Stuart, Roseville; Gabi Boever, Worthington; Clarissa Ober, Glencoe-Silver Lake; Megan Waytashek, Centennial; Tiffany Flaata, Prior Lake; Mariah Clarin, Princeton; and Ellie Thompson, Chaska. Even the coaching staff represents: Head coach Aaron Johnston is from Pine Island, associate head coach Mike Jewett coached Southwest Minnesota State (2006-2010) and assistant coach Carissa Nord hails from Duluth. Waytashek, a senior forward, leads the Jackrabbits in scoring (14.7 per game) and Clarin, also a senior forward, is third at 11.6.

Star Tribune