Preseason WNIT Tournament Overview
The Women's National Invitation Tournament is an annual invitation-only tournament involving 16 of the nation's top women's Division I basketball teams. A team may participate no more than once in a four-year period. Additionally, only one institution per conference may play in the tournament in the same year.

Teams are selected for the Preseason WNIT based on their program’s expected success for that season, their relevant past, their conference standings, fan base, and geographical location, to name a few criteria. The teams that compete well in the Preseason WNIT typically go on to finish very strong and advance to postseason play.
The event features a three-game guarantee format. All games, including the semifinals and championship, are hosted by participating schools at their home facility.
The initial round of the event involves eight sites hosted by participating institutions. The winner’s bracket looks identical to past Preseason tournaments.
First Round Winners
The eight Round One winners will continue on in traditional bracket play, with half of them hosting the other half in separate host sites. The winning teams will continue on, with separate host sites throughout the semifinals and championship. The two teams in the championship game will play four games in the tournament.
Round 1 Losers
The eight teams that lose their first games will be re-grouped into “Consolation bracket quads,” which will be two four-team pools. The teams may be re-shuffled from their original sides of the bracket, so they could play any other first-round loser in the tournament. One team in each pool is selected to host the other three teams. Each team will play two games for a total of three in the tournament. These are called Consolation Rounds 1 and 2.
Round 2 Losers (from original bracket)
Of the four Round 2/quarterfinal losing teams, two teams will be selected to host one of the other quarterfinal round losers in a single game at separate sites. The teams may be re-shuffled from their original sides of the bracket, so they could play any other Round 2 loser in the tournament. This game provides the third game for each of these schools. This round is Consolation Round 3.
All-Tournament Team
An All-Tournament Team is chosen for each year and highlights six players, including an MVP for the tournament. The members must have played on teams that advanced to the semifinals. Each of the teams that lose in the semifinals gets one player voted to the All-Tournament Team. The remainder of the All-Tournament team consists of two players from the team that finishes as runner-up in the Preseason WNIT, and two players (including one MVP) from the team that wins the WNIT title. The team is voted on by media and tournament personnel.
2014 Dates
The Preseason WNIT always begins on the first Friday of the regular season.
  • Round 1 – Friday, Nov. 14 or Saturday, Nov. 15.
  • Round 2 – Sunday, Nov. 16 and Monday, Nov. 17.
  • Semifinals – Thursday, Nov. 20.
  • Championship – Sunday, Nov. 23.
  • Consolation Rounds 1&2 – Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22.
  • Consolation Round 3 – Friday, Nov. 21 or Saturday, Nov. 22.
    The Preseason WNIT began in its modern form in 1994. It is organized and produced by Triple Crown Sports, a national sports event company based in Fort Collins, Colo. The 16-team Preseason WNIT was originally a single-elimination exempt event, and moved to the current three-game guarantee format in 2007. Throughout the years, more than 200 of the nation’s Division I teams have played in the event, representing all 32 conferences. Here is a year-by-year overview:
    • 1994 – The Preseason WNIT began in 1994 and involved three former NCAA Final Four participants (Missouri State, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt). The University of Washington defeated Texas Tech, the 1993 NCAA National Champions, for the championship.
    • 1995 – University of Colorado defeated Arkansas in the championship game. More than 7,000 spectators watched the championship game at Arkansas.
    • 1996 – Six Sweet 16 teams from the 1996 NCAA Championship competed in the event. Perennial power Louisiana Tech defeated Tennessee, the 1996 NCAA National Champions, for the WNIT title.
    • 1997 – The University of Connecticut won the 1997 event drawing a WNIT record 36,475 fans for the semifinal and championship games.
    • 1998 – Colorado State, on its way to a 31-4 season, had to defeat three national powers in succession: Oregon, Rutgers and Florida, to win the event.  
    • 1999 – SEC perennial power Georgia took the title after victories over Virginia Tech, Boston College and University of California Santa Barbara.
    • 2000 – Louisiana Tech defeated Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue went on to capture the Big Ten regular season crown and reach the NCAA Championship game. Texas defeated Virginia in the consolation game.
    • 2001 – No. 1 ranked Connecticut defeated No. 3 ranked Vanderbilt for the championship in front of a capacity crowd of 10,027 fans at Storrs, CT. This kicked off UConn’s undefeated season and NCAA National Championship season.
    • 2002 – Kansas State, ranked No. 4 in the country, topped No. 14 Penn State before 6,052 vocal fans at Bramlage Coliseum at Manhattan, Kansas.
    • 2003 – Texas Tech dropped Rutgers 73-45 in Lubbock, Texas in front of 10,854 spectators. Texas Tech drew 41,576 fans in four home games for an average of 10,394 fans per game.
    • 2004 – Notre Dame defeated two Top 10 ranked teams (Duke, Ohio State) in four days to win the Preseason WNIT title. The Fighting Irish scored the final 12 points in the championship to edge Ohio State 66-62.
    • 2005 – Connecticut made it a perfect trio of trophies as the Huskies earned their third Preseason WNIT title in three tries (1997, 2001, 2005). UConn defeated Oklahoma for the championship in front of 9,722 fans.
    • 2006 – Purdue ended Baylor’s 20-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents as the Boilermakers captured their first WNIT title, 69-55, in Waco, Texas.
    • 2007 – Maryland defeats LSU in a battle of top-5 teams, in the first Preseason WNIT to feature a three-game guarantee. Maryland, ranked third in the nation, went on to a 33-4 year, while No. 4 LSU advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, won the SEC conference title, and finished 31-6.
    • 2008 - Top 10 teams Oklahoma and North Carolina are joined by Arizona State, Indiana, MTSU, and Xavier in one of the most elite fields assembled in a preseason tournament. North Carolina edges No. 2 host Oklahoma 80-79 for the title.
    • 2009 – Ohio State set a WNIT record for points scored in the tournament, averaging 91.8 points a game (367 total) in four games as they rolled to their first Preseason WNIT title in school history. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 3 in the country, defeated Oklahoma State 93-72. Ohio State went on to set a school record with 31 wins (31-5) and become the first Big Ten team to win six straight conference titles.
    • 2010 – Purdue battles DePaul for a 67-58 victory and captures its second Preseason WNIT title in school history.
    • 2011 – The 2011 Preseason WNIT set the stage for No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Notre Dame to battle in an early test of what would forecast that season's NCAA Tournament Championship game. Baylor defeated Notre Dame 94-81 and went on to capture college basketball's first and only 40-win season.
    • 2012 – An athletic North Carolina team jumped out early and went on to defeat Iowa 77-64 and earn its second Preseason WNIT title. The Tar Heels are 10-1 all-time in Preseason WNIT games.
    • 2013 – No. 5 Louisville came back from 15 points down to defeat No. 11 Oklahoma 97-92 in overtime in front of 7,358 energetic fans at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
    Contact Us
    Women’s National Invitation Tournament
    Renee Carlson, Director
    3930 Automation Way
    Fort Collins, CO 80525
    Phone: 970-672-0557
    Fax: 970-223-3636