The Women’s National Invitation Tournament is gearing up for the 2009 Postseason event.
The Postseason WNIT tournament involves 48 teams following the 2007 expansion that provided one automatic bid to every conference in the country. All games in the single-elimination format are played at the main or alternate facilities of participating schools. Because all tournament games are hosted by participating schools, it is imperative that interested schools clear possible game dates with their facilities.
Here are the probable dates for each round:
Round 1 March 18-20
Round 2 March 21-24
Round 3 March 25-27
Quarterfinals March 28-30
Semifinals April 1-2
Championship 2 p.m. ET April 4
The selection of the 48 teams for the Postseason WNIT will be according to the following:
1. Thirty-one (31) spots will be filled with one team per conference. That team will be the highest-finishing team in the conference’s regular-season standings, that does not advance to the NCAA Tournament. As in the past, the teams’ record must be at or above .500.
For example, if the second-place team during the regular season does not win its conference tournament, and the top-seeded team does (and earns the NCAA berth), then the second-place team automatically will be invited to the WNIT.
If the top-seeded team after the regular season does not win its conference tournament and is not invited to the NCAA Tournament, then it will have a guaranteed spot in the WNIT assuming its Division I record is .500 or better.
No matter which team from a conference wins its conference tournament, the WNIT will invite the next best team available with an overall record of .500 or better. That team is determined by order of regular-season conference standings, or in case of a tie, by conference tournament seeding (or by a conference’s pre-determined by-law addressing its WNIT automatic berth).
If a conference does not have a team that meets the above criteria, it could forfeit its automatic berth in the Postseason WNIT.
2. The remaining berths (at least 17) will be filled at-large by the top teams available based on the selection criteria used in the past.
The 2009 Postseason WNIT will feature 16 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games and the championship.
The WNIT field will be announced the evening of the NCAA Tournament selections, on Monday, March 16.