For the 10th time in the last 15 seasons, the Big Ten sent at least seven teams to the NCAA Championship. Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers each took part in the 2015 tournament. Maryland advanced to the Final Four, while Iowa fell in the regional semifinals. Ohio State and Rutgers each advanced to the second round.
Earning a berth to the WNIT, Michigan became the eighth Big Ten women's basketball team to garner a postseason berth. The Wolverines advanced to the WNIT Semifinals and recorded their fourth-consecutive 20-win season.
Big Ten Tournament Crown
The Maryland women's basketball team defeated Ohio State to capture the Big Ten Tournament title and cap a perfect run through the conference. The Terrapins' Lexie Brown was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament team, joined by Iowa's Bethany Doolittle, Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B., Ohio State's Alexa Hart and teammate Kelsey Mitchell.
Big Ten Postseason Honorees
Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the media, while Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell earned the honor from the conference coaches. Rutgers' Syessence Davis collected Defensive Player of the Year recognition and Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty was tabbed Sixth Player of the Year. The Buckeyes' Mitchell was honored as the unanimous Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the coaches and media, while Maryland head coach Brenda Frese was voted Coach of the Year by both the media and her peers.
Big Ten Champions
Maryland secured its first outright Big Ten Championship and the No. 1 seed in the tournament in its inaugural season. The Terrapins received the tournament's top seed after recording an 18-0 Big Ten record, joining Ohio State and Purdue as the third team to have an undefeated conference record in Big Ten women's basketball history. Maryland won 28 consecutive games, closing out the season with a 34-3 overall record.
The Capital One Academic All-America Women's Basketball Team was announced Iowa's Ally Disterhoft and Samantha Logic and Michigan's Nicole Elmblad each named to the third team. Iowa was the only Division I school in the nation to have two honorees.
Logic Wins Senior CLASS Award
Iowa's Samantha Logic has been selected as the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I women's basketball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I women's basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I women's basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
The Big Ten Conference had three women's basketball players highlight the 2014-15 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women's All-America Team and seven players named Associated Press All-Americans. Iowa's Samantha Logic, Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. and Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell were named All-Americans by both organizations, while Maryland's Lexie Brown earned a spot on the Associated Press All-America Third Team. Zahui B. was named to the Associated Press All-America First Team, and freshman Mitchell was a second-team selection. Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Michigan State's Aerial Powers and Rutgers' Betnijah Laney each earned an Associated Press All-America honorable mention nod. Logic and Zahui B. were also named to the 10-member 2015 WBCA Women's Division I Coaches' All-America Team.
Five Big Ten women's basketball players, all from Region 6, were named as WBCA All-Region nominees, including Iowa's Samantha Logic, Maryland's Lexie Brown, Michigan State's Aerial Powers, Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. and Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell. The Buckeyes' Mitchell was one of only three freshman named to the list.
NCAA Elite 89 Honors
Maryland's Malina Howard, a junior kinesiology major with a 3.798 GPA, is the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The Elite 89 award, founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Eleven Big Ten teams received votes in either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at least once during the season with five teams ranked in the final polls. Iowa, Maryland and Rutgers remained ranked in at least one of the major polls all season, from preseason to final poll. The Terrapins reached as high as No. 3 during the season and finished the season ranked fourth in both polls. Iowa ranked No. 18/11 and Ohio State was No. 23/20. Northwestern finished in the AP Poll as No. 22, while Rutgers closed out the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 23.
Six Big Ten women's basketball players were selected in the 2015 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft held in Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. became the Big Ten's highest selection in a WNBA draft since 2009, going as the No. 2 overall pick to the Tulsa Shock. Iowa's Samantha Logic joined Zahui B., in the first round, selected by the Atlanta Dream as the 10th pick. Rutgers' Betnijah Laney was third to be selected out of the conference as the 17th overall pick in the second round to the Chicago Sky. The New York Liberty selected a pair of Big Ten players with back-to-back picks, including Maryland's Laurin Mincy as the 27th overall and Wisconsin's Michala Johnson as the 28th pick. Minnesota's Shae Kelley rounded out the Big Ten selections as the 37th overall pick to the Minnesota Lynx. The Big Ten has had at least three selections in each WNBA draft with as many as 10 selections in 2000 and 2002. The last time six players were selected in the WNBA draft out of the conference was in 2010.