Four Big West Teams get WNIT Berth
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The Women’s National Invitational Tournament 64-team field was announced today with four Big West Conference teams making their post-season debut. Big West regular season champions Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, Pacific and UC Davis each received a bid in this year’s tournament.
Cal Poly (17-14) will make its second consecutive appearance in the WNIT, facing the Washington Huskies (17-13) at the Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday, March 14th. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The Mustangs won the Big West regular season title with a 12-4 record. Cal Poly lost in the conference tournament semifinals to Long Beach State, 51-48, on Friday. Washington enters the game 17-13 overall and 8-10 in Pac-12 play.
After finishing in second place in conference play, Cal State Northridge earned a tournament berth and is matched up against San Diego on Friday, March 16 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on San Diego’s campus.
The Toreros hold a 13-4 advantage over the Matadors in all-time meetings, the last contest January 2011 as Northridge lost 66-50.
The Pacific Tigers are the only Big West team to play host for the first round, welcoming Arizona State on Friday, March 16 to the Alex G. Spanos Center. This is the second postseason bid that the Tigers have received in program history to the WNIT, their last appearance coming in 1995.
Pacific (17-13 overall) finished tied for third in the Big West at 10-6. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals, where they were defeated by 2012 tournament champions UC Santa Barbara. This is the first time since the 2001-02 season that the Tigers have had 17 or more wins.
UC Davis comes in as the last Big West team to receive a berth into the WNIT, traveling to Corvallis, Ore., to take on Oregon State on Thursday, March 15th. This is the third appearance for the Aggies in the WNIT tournament. They fell in the first round in both 2008 and 2010.
This is the highest number of WNIT berths for Big West women's basketball, besting last year's three representatives.