Badgers to host WNIT game on SaturdayThe University of Wisconsin will appear in its fourth Women’s National Invitation Tournament
The University of Wisconsin will appear in its fourth Women’s National Invitation Tournament when it meets the winner of Wednesday’s game between American University and Villanova at 7 p.m. Saturday in the UW Field House.
The Badgers, who received a first-round bye, are the one of five Big Ten teams to participate in the 48-team WNIT field. Michigan State was the automatic qualifier from the Big Ten Conference and was joined by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and the Badgers.
The Badgers won the WNIT in 2000 tournament, and were runner-up champions in 2007 and 1999. Wisconsin has bid to host all rounds of the WNIT at the UW Field House (capacity 10,600). The time and location of each game will be determined round by round. All games, including the semifinals and championship, will be hosted by participating schools at their home facilities.
This year’s field also features four teams from the Big East and four teams from the SEC. Other conferences that got more than one team in the field were the Big 12 and Missouri Valley (three each), and the Sun Belt, Atlantic 10, ACC and Colonial (two each).
The 2008 tournament marks UW’s fourth and the second consecutive WNIT championship appearance. Last year Wisconsin (23-13, 7-9 Big Ten) was not able to overcome the injury to point guard Rae Lin D’Alie and lost to Wyoming 72-56 in the finals of the WNIT Championship in front of a record 15,462 in Laramie, Wyo.
In 2000, the Badgers beat Florida to win the WNIT championship, and were the runners-up to Arkansas in 1999 and in Wyoming in 2007. UW has a 13-2 record in WNIT tournament participation including a 13-0 record in WNIT games at home.
With the WNIT tournament run, the Badgers concluded the 2006-07 season with a program record 23 wins, and the most games ever played by a Badger team with 36. Wisconsin’s 17 home wins this season are also the most in program history.
The Badger women have qualified for six NCAA basketball tournaments and four WNIT tournaments in the 33-year history of the program. The Badgers are 13-2 in the WNIT, and have a 2-6 record in NCAA play.