With the depth and talent level of women’s basketball teams commanding both headlines and airtime, tournament officials with the Postseason WNIT continue to put pieces in place for the upcoming 64-team event that will pull thousands of fans into the excitement of a chase for the championship.
The bracket for the 2018 Postseason WNIT will be announced on the evening of March 12. The first round will kick off Wednesday, March 14, with the event culminating Saturday, March 31 with the championship.
Selection – Monday, March 12
Round 1 – March 14-16
Round 2 – March 17-20
Round 3 – March 21-23
Round 4 – March 24-26
Semifinals – March 28-29
Championship – Saturday, March 31, 3 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)
The WNIT offers teams an opportunity to get more practices, to experience playoff-atmosphere games, to play in front of passionate fans and to use WNIT competition as a springboard to the next season.
The WNIT understands many schools interested in hosting cannot hold their facilities for the entirety of the tournament, but if teams choose to hold one or two dates open in each round, along with the championship date, that helps those schools to be considered as host sites. Please note: A school’s ability and/or desire to host games in the Postseason WNIT has absolutely no bearing on being selected for the tournament.
The 2018 Postseason WNIT field will consist of 32 automatic berths – one from each conference – and 32 at-large teams. The intention of the WNIT Selection Committee is to select the 32 best available at-large teams in the nation.
A team offered an automatic berth 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 its respective conference, regardless of overall record.
The remaining 32 berths in the Postseason WNIT will be filled by the best teams available. All Division I teams are eligible for consideration. 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 WNIT website that night, shortly after the NCAA Tournament bracket is announced.
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee has secured an official partnership with the Postseason WNIT to assess two experimental rule changes during the 2018 event, which tips off March 14.
This year’s tournament marks the 21st edition of the Postseason WNIT, a 64-team single-elimination event that has earned the trust of Division-I coaches, players and administrators around the nation. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association has given full support for the rule changes to be explored in the 2018 tournament.
“Partnering with the WNIT is an extremely positive progression for women’s basketball. This partnership will provide the rules committee with great feedback on rules intended to better the game,” said Brad Duckworth, chair of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee and Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. “On behalf of the rules committee, we would like to thank the WNIT for their commitment to the future of women’s basketball.”
The Postseason WNIT, produced by Triple Crown Sports, is an ideal testing ground for evaluations involving women’s basketball, with 63 games on the schedule to help generate and observe real-time data.
The rules involve substitutions during free throws, and also how fouls will be treated (and when free throws are awarded) in loose-ball situations. Details are attached.
“The game of women’s basketball is in a great place. The opportunity for decision-makers to observe and evaluate experimental rules in game situations is invaluable,” said Danielle Donehew, Executive Director of the WBCA. “The WBCA community of coaches applauds the NCAA women’s basketball rules committee and the WNIT for their commitment to the future care of our sport.”
The official schedule for the 2018 Postseason WNIT, from Selection Day to the championship game, will be announced Wednesday, Jan. 24.
About Triple Crown Sports
Based in Fort Collins, CO., Triple Crown Sports has been producing college and youth events for more than 30 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events and produces the men’s and women’s Cancun Challenge tournaments in November. Triple Crown is also powering “WNIT” concept events in D-I softball (NISC) and volleyball (NIVC), with those two events debuting in 2017. TCS youth fastpitch tournaments (including the 1,000-team Sparkler/Fireworks event) draw the nation’s finest club programs, and hundreds of college coaches attend TCS events for recruiting purposes.