Join the Eagles as they Await WNIT Pairings
Sunday, March 16, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Join the FGCU women’s basketball team at Beef O’Brady’s in Estero for the announcement of the pairings for the Women’s National Invitational Tournament on Monday night (March 17).

The Eagles, who finished the season ranked second in the A-Sun and earned an automatic WNIT bid, encourage fans to come out and support them as they anxiously wait for the WNIT to release the tournament bracket.

Several teams have already made sure they are playing in the postseason, as they secured spots in the WNIT. The teams that have earned automatic berths so far are: American (Patriot), Arkansas-Little Rock (Sun Belt), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Iona (Metro Atlantic), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), Quinnipiac (Northeast), South Dakota State (Summit), Southeast Missouri State (Ohio Valley), Texas State (Southland), and Western Carolina (Southern).

The event will begin at 9:30 p.m. and will be held at Beef O’Brady’s in the Grande Oaks Shopping Plaza across from Miromar Outlets.

The WNIT will announce its full 48-team field on their website by midnight ET Monday night, March 17.

Monday, March 17 / 9:30 p.m.

Beef O'Bradys
20301 Grande Oaks Shoppes Blvd., #108
 Estero, FL 33928




Probable dates for each round:
Round 1 - March 19-21
Round 2 - March 22-24
Round 3 - March 26-28
Quarterfinals - March 29-31
Semifinals - April 2-3
Championship - April 5

Tournament Overview: The Women's National Invitation Tournament is an annual tournament involving 48 of the nation's top women's Division I basketball teams. All games, including the semifinals and championship, are hosted by participating schools at their home facility. Every round is single elimination.

Format: The Postseason WNIT features 16 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. The championship game is televised. The event offers 31 automatic berths, one to each conference, and 17 at-large berths. The WNIT field and bracket is announced late on the evening of the NCAA Tournament selections.

2008 Postseason WNIT: The 48-team tournament is a single-elimination event with all games played at sites of host schools. The WNIT is committed to offering deserved opportunities to women’s basketball programs, and the tournament expanded to 48 teams in 2007. For the first time in history, each of the nation’s 31 conferences was guaranteed a spot in the Postseason WNIT. At the same time, those automatic berths did not affect the number of deserving at-large teams, which has stayed around 17 throughout the years.


The Process - How the teams are selected:
The 48-team tournament field consists of 31 automatic berths and 17 at-large selections. An automatic bid is offered to each conference to the team that finished highest during the regular season and did not receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The WNIT recognizes the tiebreakers used by each conference in their tournament seeding.

The 17 at-large berths are filled by the top remaining teams available, as decided by several factors. All Division I teams – with overall records of .500 or better (including conference tournament play) – are considered for the at-large berths.

• The WNIT committee will utilize the seven following women’s basketball ranking systems in the selection of the at-large tournament spots: Dolphin, Greenfield, Massey, Moore, RPI ratings, Sagarin, and Wobus. These rankings vary in their emphasis, which provides a good cross-ranking of factors such as win-loss record, strength of schedule, strength of opponents and opponents’ schedule, record at home and on the road, and margin of victory, among other factors.

• The high and low rankings for each team are removed and the remaining five rankings are consolidated and utilized as the principle resource for at-large selections.

• For the final few spots, the WNIT committee examines the remaining teams under consideration utilizing additional factors such as how well a team is currently playing, common opponents, late-season win/loss runs, games against other potential invitees, and key injuries.

• Factors that are not taken into consideration at any time during team selection are any financial incentives, location of school, attendance history, tournament history, ability to host, etc.


How the field is bracketed
After the WNIT committee chooses the 48 teams adhering to the above-mentioned selection process, the teams will be bracketed.


Tiered Seeding
• The WNIT committee seeds the 48 teams into tiers using a combination of tools, including the seven ranking systems and other criteria listed in the selection process.

• There are three tiers: An upper tier consisting of the top one-third of teams, a middle tier and a lower tier. Beyond the general tier system, no specific seed numbers are given to teams.

• This is a general placement of what is considered a distribution of the field strength.


Bracket guidelines
• The committee makes every attempt to distribute the top tier schools evenly across the bracket. This at times results in a spread of geographically-close teams.

• Most of the top tier teams will have a first-round bye. The first round includes 32 teams in 16 games, so 16 teams have a first-round bye. Due to the need to have byes spread evenly across the entire bracket along with the geographic orientation of the event, it is possible that not all top tier teams receive a bye.

• In the first round, a lower-third tier team will usually play a middle- or lower-tier team.

• A top-tier team likely will play a middle- to lower-tier team in the second round, which consists of 16 games.

• Early rounds are bracketed based upon geographic proximity.

• Teams from the same conference will not meet in the first round. If possible, conference teams will not meet in the second round as well. • Rematches of regular-season games shall be avoided, if at all possible, in the first round.

• Some pairings are dictated by schools’ ability to host. For example, two schools that cannot host will not be paired with each other.


How the host schools are chosen
• The host site is selected by the WNIT committee based on several factors such as fan base, host bids, facility availability, tournament seed, travel constraints, etc.