Baylor and Notre Dame are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the preseason AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today polls. They could meet each other in the WNIT Championship Game, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 20.
UCLA, which could meet Baylor in the semifinals, is ranked No. 22 in the AP poll. The Bruins are one of nine teams in the Preseason WNIT that are coming off of postseason play. The others are Baylor, Drexel, Hartford, Manhattan, McNeese, Notre Dame, Tennessee Tech, and UAB. They will be joined in this year’s Preseason WNIT field by Akron, Chattanooga, Detroit, ETSU, Indiana State, Howard, and Long Island.
Five of the teams are picked to win their conference title in this year’s preseason polls: Baylor (Big 12), Chattanooga (Southern), McNeese (Southland), Notre Dame (Big East), and Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley).
The Preseason WNIT features a three-game guarantee format. The event opens Friday, Nov. 11 with first-round games. Second-round games will be played Nov. 13; semifinals will be Nov. 17; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 20. Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 18-19. All games are hosted by participating schools, and sites are announced by the end of the preceding round.
In last year’s Preseason WNIT, Purdue battled DePaul for a 67-58 victory.
First-round 2011 Preseason WNIT games
(All 2010-11 team records in parentheses)
Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
McNeese State (26-7) at UCLA (28-5), 5 p.m. ET
Long Island (19-11) at Drexel (19-13), 7 p.m. ET
UAB (20-15) at Chattanooga (17-14), 7 p.m. ET
Tennessee Tech (23-8) at ETSU (19-12), 7 p.m. ET
Akron (14-16) at Notre Dame (31-8), 7 p.m. ET
Howard (16-18) at Baylor (34-3), 7:30 p.m. ET
Detroit (13-18) at Indiana State (16-16), 8 p.m. ET
Manhattan (24-10) at Hartford (17-16), 8 p.m. ET