ISU Receives Automatic Bid to the 2009 Postseason WNIT
March 16, 2009
FT. COLLINS, Colo. - The Illinois State women's basketball team received an automatic bid into the 48-team field for the 2009 Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) and a bye into the second round. The Redbirds will host the winner of the Southern Methodist/Louisiana Tech opening-round game at a date and time to be determined.
SMU(20-11) and Louisiana Tech (20-12) will play Thursday in Ruston, La. Illinois State has never played SMU in women's basketball and is 0-5 all-time against Louisiana Tech. The Redbirds and Techsters first met in 1981 and played twice in a two-week span. The only meeting in Normal came Feb. 13, 1983. Louisiana Tech was the second team Illinois State ever played in the NCAA Tournament in 1985 and the last meeting came the following season.
The Redbirds enter the tournament with a 24-7 record. ISU won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title outright for the first time since 1989 but lost in the quarterfinals of the State Farm MVC Tournament to eventual-champion Evansville.
Illinois State is making its eighth trip to the WNIT and has a 7-12 all-time record in the tournament. ISU's last appearance came in 2007 when the Redbirds beat Rice at home in triple overtime, 71-61, and lost to South Dakota State, 61-48.
Creighton, who finished second to the Redbirds in the MVC regular season and lost to Evansville in the championship game of the conference tournament, also earned a bid to the WNIT. The Bluejays will host UC-Riverside Saturday.
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.
Game times will be announced Tuesday, March 17, by the WNIT. For more information, visit the official WNIT Web Site.
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