BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana Women’s Basketball has accepted an invitation and an at-large bid to play in the upcoming Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), announced on Monday night. They will play host to Ball State in the opening round on Thursday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Indiana is making its third appearance in the postseason in the last four seasons, the most since joining the NCAA in 1981-82. It also marks the first back-to-back postseason selections for the Hoosiers since 2007-08 and 2008-09.
IU makes its eighth appearance overall in the WNIT, holding a 9-7 overall record and making its last appearance in 2013-14 where they made it to the third round. Indiana has made 14 appearances in a postseason with WNIT appearances (1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013) and five NCAA Tournament berths (1983, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2016) and one NWIT appearance (1991). Prior to the NCAA, IU made an AIAW Final Four appearance in 1973 and two AIAW Elite Eight appearances in 1972 and 1974.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be selected to compete in the WNIT,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “To make the postseason for the second time in three seasons and back-to-back seasons since we joined the NCAA umbrella in 1981-82 is a tremendous feat for us. Postseason play is the main goal of this program, and gives us the building blocks for where this program is going.” We are even more excited to host postseason basketball in newly renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and for our crowd to help us make a deep run in this tournament. “
Indiana (20-10, 10-6) earns a bid after tying a school-record 20 regular season games and a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten. Junior guard Tyra Buss led a trio of All-Big Ten selections for the most in a season since 2009. Buss is a repeat All-Big Ten First Teamselection while junior forward Amanda Cahill earned second team honors and senior guard Alexis Gassion picked up honorable mention nods while earning a place on the All-Defensive team, also a first for the Hoosiers since 2009. At home this season, Indiana holds a 12-2 record and secured its fifth-straight winning season inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. They also posted 10 or more wins for the fourth-consecutive season, including all three seasons under head coach Teri Moren.
The Ball State Cardinals enter Thursday’s matchup with a 2-10 overall out of the Mid-American Conference where they went 14-4 in league play. The runners-up in the league this season, Ball State fell in the quarterfinal round of the MAC Tournament to Buffalo on March 8. Indiana leads the series between the two schools, 28-3, and have not met since 2010. IU has won the last 20 meetings between the two teams which dates back to 1979.
A time for Thursday’s matchup will be set by WNIT officials no later than 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The winner of Thursday’s game will face either St. Louis or IUPUI in the second round.
Tickets for the WNIT will go on sale on Tuesday, March 14 at 9 a.m. ET and will be $6 for adult general admission, $4 for IU student general admission and $4 for youth (18 and under). Everyone attending a WNIT game will have to have a ticket to enter (this includes youth ages two and younger). Tickets can be purchased online at IUHoosiers.com, by phone by calling 1-866-IUSPORTS or directly from the IU Ticket Office located just inside the west lobby doors of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
The WNIT bracket is made up of 64 teams in a single-elimination championship format. The field includes 32 teams that earned an automatic berth, and 32 teams that were chosen at-large. The automatic qualifiers are the best teams available from the nation’s 32 conferences that were not selected for the NCAA Tournament.
The Postseason WNIT will open with all first-round games taking place Wednesday through Friday, March 15-17. The event culminates Saturday, April 5 with the championship game, which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. All games are hosted by participating schools. The WNIT began in 1998 and is in its 19th year.