The Women’s National Invitational Tournament unveiled their selections on Monday evening, with the regular-season champion Bowling Green Falcons and tournament #3 seed Ohio Bobcats tabbed to represent the Mid-American Conference in the independent postseason tournament.
BGSU qualified for the WNIT by virtue of their winning the regular-season title, which creates an automatic qualifier spot if said team loses in the postseason, while Ohio was selected as an at-large bid.
BGSU will be one of only four teams in the tournament to cross the 20-win threshold, as COVID protocols affected a vast majority of the teams invited to this season’s bracket. The Falcons finished the 2020-21 season with a 20-6 overall record (12-4 MAC), and hail Coach of the Year Robyn Fralick and a talented trio of freshman starters which ignited the Falcons’ miracle run. Their last game action was a loss in the MAC Tournament Championship Game to Central Michigan, losing by a final of 77-72.
Ohio, at 14-8 overall (11-6 MAC), had an excellent out-of-conference resume, picking up a marquee win over Notre Dame and a win over Liberty, with a close loss to West Virginia. They feature all-MAC first-team guard CeCe Hooks on the roster, who has proved to be one of the best all-around players in the mid-majors over the course of her career. A team which had to manage several COVID cases and injuries throughout the 2020-21 season, Ohio still managed to secure a #3 seed in the closing weeks. They eventually lost to Central Michigan in the MAC Tournament Semifinals by a final score of 100-92 in overtime.
Unlike the men’s NIT, the women’s NIT is not run by the NCAA, and therefore has a different selection process and tournament set-up for the 2021 season. The WNIT will continue to use the “true” regional set-up, with the various brackets set in four separate geographic locations. The first and second rounds will take place between Charlotte, North Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Rockford, Illinois. Once regional champions are decided, they will play the remainder of the tournament in the Memphis location.
Every team will be guaranteed at least two games under the set-up, per the WNIT. How that will be set up is to be determined.
Brackets, locations and times are currently unknown as of publication, but the preliminary rounds will run from March 19-22, with semifinals on March 26 and the finals on March 28. All games will be broadcast on FloHoops, a subsidiary channel of FloSports.