That wasn't even close. Behind the will of a 7,000+ crowd, Toledo downed Charlotte 83-60 to advance to the Women's National Invitation Tournament against USC. And yes, that game will also be in Savage Arena, making it 6-for-6 games at home.
They've gone through Delaware (a capable CAA team), Auburn and Alabama (pesky SEC twins), Syracuse (a Big East program with jeezus nobody in attendance), and Charlotte (an A-10 front-runner). They've won close (Delaware by 3), they've come from behind (down 12 at halftime to Syracuse), they've played overtime (Syracuse again), and they've destroyed opponents (Alabama and Auburn each by 15, Charlotte by 23). They've done it all.
Now they just need to do it again against USC. Easier said than done.
Southern Cal is yet another one of the big girls. They're 23-12 and finished tied for fourth in the Pac-10. Unremarkable, for one of the larger teams. But this is the WNIT, and that's the type of teams they get. However, the Trojans (Trojettes?) have made it to the championship game in much different fashion: the road. After a squeaker at home to Santa Barbara, they fired up the jet and took contests at Nevada, BYU, Colorado, and tonight against Illinois State by TWENTY SEVEN POINTS. And you thought the 49ers got a whuppin' tonight. So much like UT, they also won in a variety of ways. Including on the road.
With the total understanding that it's "just the WNIT," 64 teams participated in the tournament and these are two that are left. This counts for something. This is not the NCAA women's basketball championship, something that they did not get invited to, and maybe had they too expanded to 68 teams they'd have gotten a crack at it, much like VCU did.
So this is what they were given. Home court advantage throughout the tournament. (Well, the university bought it in a silent auction.) And in a year where Akron men's soccer and Kent State wrestler Dustin Kilgore both won national championships, Toledo women's basketball can give us the third best championship this season.
The game is 3 p.m. on Saturday. This will be interesting.
Fun Facts: The 7,020 announced attendance at Savage Arena was a record for not only Toledo women's basketball, but MAC women's basketball. Also, this year Toledo beat Charlotte by 23, Charlotte beat Dayton by 21, and Dayton beat Toledo by 33. What a topsy-turvy world.