FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Butler women's basketball team will compete in the 2014 Postseason WNIT against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The Bulldogs have now reached WNIT postseason competition in five out of the last six seasons.
Butler finished the regular season with a 15-14 overall record. They moved to .500 after taking a loss to Creighton in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament. The BIG EAST is well represented in the WNIT with five teams making the 64-team field. Creighton, Villanova and Seton Hall will all host games while Butler and Marquette will play as the visitors.
The Women's National Invitation Tournament Selection Committee announced the 64-team field late Monday night. The field includes 10 teams that were crowned regular-season conference champions, tying a WNIT record set in 2013, and 35 teams with 20 or more wins. Game time for Butler vs. South Dakota State is set for 8 PM EST.
Now in its 17th year, the Postseason WNIT is the second longest current running postseason event for women's college basketball, behind the NCAA Tournament. All games during the tournament are hosted by participating schools with first-round games opening March 19-21, followed by round two (March 22-25), round three (March 26-28), round four (March 29-31), semifinals (April 2-3), and championship (April 5 at 3 p.m. ET). The championship game will be nationally televised live in HD on CBS Sports Network with Thad Anderson (play-by-play) and Ceal Barry (analyst) calling the action.
Conference USA leads the field with six teams selected, followed by five from the Big East, and four from the Atlantic 10, Big Ten, and Pac-12. The American, MAC, SEC, and WCC each have three schools represented. Other conferences in the field include: Big Sky (2), Big West (2), Ivy (2), Metro Atlantic (2), Patriot (2), Summit (2), ACC (1), America East (1), Atlantic Sun (1), Big 12 (1), Big South (1), Colonial (1), Horizon (1), MEAC (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1), NEC (1), Ohio Valley (1), Southern (1), Southland (1), Sun Belt (1), SWAC (1), and WAC (1).
The Selection Process
The WNIT committee selects 64 teams for its Postseason tournament. The field consists 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 that is offered an automatic berth by the WNIT must meet these criteria: 1.) the highest-finishing team in its conference's regular-season standings, and 2.) 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 were 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.
About the WNIT
The Women's National Invitation Tournament is an annual tournament involving 64 of the nation's top women's Division I basketball teams. All games, including the semifinals and championship, are hosted by participating schools. Every round is single elimination. The WNIT offers teams an opportunity to get more practices in, to experience playoff-atmosphere games, to play in front of passionate fans, and to use their WNIT success as a springboard to the next season. The tournament started in 1998 with 16 teams, expanded to 32 schools in 1999, and then to its current 64-team field in 2010.
About Triple Crown Sports
The WNIT is produced by Triple Crown Sports which is based in Fort Collins, Colo. TCS also organizes men's and women's preseason college basketball tournaments in Mexico (Cancun Challenge), and the Preseason WNIT. In addition, TCS manages roughly 300 youth sporting events across the country in basketball, baseball, fastpitch softball, and volleyball. With over 30 years of experience in the event business, TCS is nationally recognized as a premier tournament organization.
WNIT First Round Schedule
Wednesday, March 19
Quinnipiac at Villanova
Thursday, March 20
Missouri at Creighton
American at Seton Hall
Butler at South Dakota State
Marquette at Indiana State