The committee will announce the 64-team field late the evening of Monday, March 12, following the NCAA Tournament field announcement. The Postseason WNIT field will consist of 31 teams that receive automatic berths, and 33 teams that are awarded at-large berths. Teams are chosen based on varying criteria as outlined below.
All games in the single-elimination format are played at the main or alternate facilities of participating schools.
Here are the date ranges for each round in 2012:
Round 1 March 14-16
Round 2 March 17-19
Round 3 March 21-23
Quarterfinals March 24-26
Semifinals March 28-29
Championship March 31
The WNIT understands that many schools interested in hosting cannot hold their facilities for the entirety of March, but if teams can hold one or two dates open in each round, along with the championship date, that helps ensure that those schools can be considered as host sites. Note: A school’s ability and/or desire to host games in the Postseason WNIT has absolutely no bearing on team selection for the tournament.
The WNIT committee will choose 64 teams for its 2012 Postseason WNIT. The field will consist of 31 automatic berths – one from each established conference – and 33 at-large teams. The intention of the WNIT Selection Committee is to select the 33 best available at-large teams in the nation.
A team that is offered an automatic bid by the WNIT shall be the team that is a.) the highest-finishing team in its conference’s regular-season standings, and b.) is not selected for the NCAA Tournament. A team that fulfills these qualities will earn the WNIT automatic berth for their respective conference, regardless of overall record.
The remaining 33 berths in the Postseason WNIT will be filled by the best teams available. Any team from a Division I conference, or a Division I independent team, shall be considered. Any team considered for an at-large berth must have an overall record of .500 or better. Overall record includes conference tournament games.
The WNIT will contact potential teams over the next few months. Prospective schools will submit paperwork in anticipation of being invited to the tournament.
The Postseason WNIT field will be announced before midnight Eastern Time on Monday, March 12. All information will be disseminated via the website that night, a few hours after the NCAA Tournament bracket is announced.