Northwestern women’s basketball will play in the post-season for the third straight season after being selected for the Women’s NIT.
According to the WNIT team list on the tournament’s website, the Wildcats are one of six Big Ten teams in the field, joining Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and Rutgers.
The field of 64 is set, but the brackets/game times will not be announced until approximately 10:30 PM CST tonight.
(UPDATE: The Wildcats will host the University of San Diego in the tournament’s opening round on Thursday, March 17 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Toreros finished 23-7 overall and 13-5 in the West Coast Conference. USD finished 3rd in the WCC, and makes its fifth straight appearance in the WNIT. Last season, the Toreros hosted two WNIT games at Jenny Craig Pavilion, beating Long Beach State before losing to UCLA in the second round. If NU can get past USD, the Wildcats would face Central Michigan or IUPUI in the round of 32. The full bracket is available on the WNIT’s website.)
After reaching last year’s NCAA Tournament as a 7-seed and losing in the first round to Arkansas, the 2015-2016 Wildcats started 10-0 and were ranked as high as 12th in the country before struggling in conference play. NU finished 4-14 in the Big Ten and ended the regular season at 15-15 overall, but a surprising run to the Big Ten Tournament semi-finals put the Wildcats’ final record at 18-16 and put the team in position to return to the post-season.
Northwestern last participated in the WNIT after the 2013-2014 season. The Wildcats reached the third round of the 64-team tournament, beating Ball State and IUPUI at Welsh-Ryan Arena before losing by one point at Indiana in the round of 16.
WNUR will provide live radio coverage of all of Northwestern’s WNIT games on 89.3 FM in Evanston/Chicago and online at wnursports.com.