Big West Conference Sends Three To WNIT
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10-11 WBB Release 18
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2011 Women's NIT Bracket
The Women's National Invitation Tournament 64-team field was announced today and three Big West Conference schools made the cut. Big West Regular Season Co-Champions Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, along with UC Riverside, each received a bid into this year's tournament.
Cal Poly (18-12, 12-4) makes its first postseason appearance Thursday, March 17 when it welcomes California to Mott Gym, where the Mustangs were 9-3 this season. The Bears own a 17-15 overall mark and finished sixth in the Pac-10 standings with a 7-11 record.
Cal Poly could potentially face conference foe UC Riverside in the second round as the victor of the Mustangs-Golden Bears matchup is slated to face either UC Riverside or Colorado.
The Highlanders, playing in their second WNIT in three years, travel to the Rocky Mountains to take on Colorado on Thursday, March 17, at the Coors Events Center. UC Riverside finished third in the Big West with an 11-5 conference mark and a 19-12 overall record. The Buffaloes finished ninth in the Big 12 with a 6-10 mark, while posting an overall record of 15-15.
UC Santa Barbara (19-11, 12-4) heads to Los Angeles to battle USC at the Galen Center Thursday evening. This is the fourth WNIT appearance for UC Santa Barbara. In the Gauchos last appearance in the WNIT back in 2007, they went 1-1 to improve their overall WNIT mark to 3-3. USC finished its regular season 19-12 and fell to Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. The winner of Thursday's contest is set to face either St Mary's or Nevada.
All games are held on the campuses of participating schools. All 64 teams will play in the first round, featuring 32 games. That will be followed by 16 games in Round 2, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. The WNIT championship game will be played Saturday, April 2, and will be hosted by one of the two final participating schools.
This year's field features five teams from each of the Southeastern, Colonial, and Atlantic 10 Conferences, and four from the Missouri Valley and Mid American. The Pacific 10, Conference USA, Big 10, Mountain West, Big West, and Big 12 all have three teams. Other conferences represented in the field include: West Coast (2), Atlantic Coast (2), WAC (2), American East (1), SWAC (1), Big East (1), Ohio Valley (1), Big South (1), Ivy (1), Southern (1), MAAC (1), Horizon (1), Northeastern (1), MEAC (1), Southland (1), Sun Belt (1), Atlantic Sun (1), Summit (1), Patriot (1), and Big Sky (1).