ISU Hosts Central Michigan in WNIT Thursday

March 12, 2012

WNIT Bracket

FORT COLLINS, Colo - The Illinois State women's basketball team will host Central Michigan in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Thursday at 7:05 p.m., at Redbird Arena. It is the second-straight season that ISU has started Postseason WNIT play hosting CMU. The Redbirds received an at-large bid into the Postseason WNIT and will make their fourth-consecutive appearance in the tournament.

Illinois State is making its 11th overall appearance in the WNIT (1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and fifth in the last six seasons. The Redbirds are 18-16 all-time in the tournament, including an 11-3 mark in the last three years, and have advanced to the semifinals in each of the last three seasons.

Tickets for the home game will go on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. and are $11 for general admission and $8 for youth under the age of 18. Reggie's Kids Club members must purchase a ticket to get into the game. Illinois State students will receive free admission to the game. Red Alert members need to present their passes at the door and all other students should pick up a ticket prior to the game. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Illinois State Athletic Ticket Office in Redbird Arena, over the phone by calling 309/438-8000 or online at GoRedbirds.com.

Central Michigan, a member of the Mid-American Conference, is 20-15 and received an at-large bid. The Chippewas finished fifth in the MAC with a record of 8-8 and lost to Eastern Michigan, 72-71, in the conference tournament championship game.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Central Michigan, 7-1. ISU won the first six meetings, with four in the 1970's and a home-and-home series in 1994-95. Central Michigan's only win came on Nov. 25, 2001, in Redbird Arena, 72-62. ISU and CMU faced off last season in the opening round of the WNIT, when the Redbirds won, 72-59, in Normal, Ill.

The WNIT awards an automatic berth to each of the nation's 31 conferences. The spot goes to the team that finishes the highest in the regular-season conference standings that does not advance to the NCAA Tournament. If there is a tie, the WNIT abides by the conference tiebreaker. To be considered for a WNIT automatic or at-large berth, a team must have an overall record of .500 or better.

The WNIT field expanded from 48 to 64 teams in 2010. All games will be played at the home arena of a participating school and first round games will take place March 14-16.

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