2017 Postseason WNIT
The tournament is a single-elimination event with all games played at sites of host schools. The WNIT is committed to offering deserved opportunities to women’s basketball programs, and the 2017 Postseason WNIT features a full 64-team bracket.
The WNIT offers teams an opportunity for more practice time, to experience playoff-atmosphere games, to play in front of passionate fans, and to use their WNIT success as motivation for next season.
First-round action tips off Wednesday, March 15 and concludes Friday, March 17. Second-round games will run March 18-21, Round three goes March 22-24, quarterfinals are March 25-27, and semifinals will be played March 29-30. The championship game will be played Saturday, April 1 and will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET. All games are hosted by participating schools.
- Six teams in the 2017 WNIT are previous champions of the event: Penn State (1998), Missouri State (2005), Wyoming (2007), Oklahoma State (2012), Drexel (2013) and last year’s winner, South Dakota.
- This year’s tournament features five teams from the Mid-American Conference and Atlantic 10, and four teams from the Big Ten and ACC. Six conferences each placed three teams – American, Big East, C-USA, Mountain West, Pac-12 and Summit.
- Other conferences represented include: Atlantic Sun (2), Colonial (2), Ivy (2), SEC (2), Sun Belt (2), West Coast (2), America East (1), Big 12 (1), Big Sky (1), Big South (1), Big West (1), Horizon (1), MAAC (1), MEAC (1), Missouri Valley (1), Northeast (1), Ohio Valley (1), Patriot (1), Southern (1), Southland (1), SWAC (1), and WAC (1).
- One of the potential benefits of playing in the WNIT is giving teams a springboard to future success, and there is certainly recent history to back that claim. Four teams from the 2016 WNIT quarterfinals – Florida Gulf Coast, Oregon, Temple and Western Kentucky – made the 2017 NCAA Tournament field. The two WNIT finalists in 2015 (UCLA and West Virginia) were seeded third and sixth in the 2016 NCAA tourney, and are seeded fourth and sixth, respectively, in this year’s NCAA bracket.
- A record 39 teams in the 2017 WNIT field recorded 20 or more victories coming into the event.
- The 2017 WNIT features 14 teams that either won their conference or tied for first during the regular season: Abilene Christian (Southland), Bethune-Cookman (MEAC), Central Michigan (MAC), Colorado State (Mountain West), George Washington (Atlantic 10), Grambling State (SWAC), Little Rock (Sun Belt), Mercer (Southern), New Hampshire (America East), North Dakota (Big Sky), Radford (Big South), Stetson (Atlantic Sun), UC Davis (Big West) and Wright State (Horizon).
- For the ninth consecutive year, the Postseason WNIT championship game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network. Thad Anderson (play by play) and Ceal Barry (analyst) will call the action. Barry was head coach at Colorado for 22 years and won 510 games in her 26 years of coaching. Anderson has called play-by-play for the WNIT since 2007 and currently calls games for ESPN, CBS Sports Network, and the Pac-12 Network.
- This is the 20th year of the Postseason WNIT, which is the longest running postseason event for women’s basketball outside the NCAA Tournament.
The 2016 WNIT title game featured South Dakota and Florida Gulf Coast, with the host Coyotes (32-6) pulling away late to post a 71-65 victory over the Eagles (33-6).
The teams played in front of 7,415 fans in the last basketball game to be played at the DakotaDome, which was a record turnout for a women’s game at South Dakota. Tia Hemiller tied her career high with 22 points to pace the Coyotes.
The Postseason WNIT features 32 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. The championship game is televised live nationally. The event offers 32 automatic berths, one to each established conference, and 32 at-large berths. The WNIT field and bracket is announced late on the evening of the NCAA Tournament selections.
Tournament officials award an Automatic Qualifying berth to each of the nation’s 32 conferences. The spot goes to the team that finishes the highest in the regular-season conference standings that does not advance to the NCAA Tournament. If there is a tie, the WNIT abides by the conference tiebreaker. A team earns the AQ berth regardless of its overall record. A total of 32 teams are then given an At-Large berth; a team must have an overall record of .500 or better to be considered.
Triple Crown Sports
The Postseason WNIT is owned and produced by Triple Crown Sports, based in Fort Collins, Colo. TCS also organizes men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments in Cancun, and the Preseason WNIT. TCS is the leader in youth and collegiate sports and manages more than 100 amateur sporting events across the country in volleyball, fastpitch softball, baseball and basketball. With 34 years of experience in the event business, TCS is nationally-recognized as a premier tournament organization.