Cajuns in the WNIT: What You Need to Know
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team's historic 50th anniversary season will continue in two weeks when they compete in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. The Cajuns, who lost to Troy in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Finals, earned the WNIT bid by winning the Sun Belt regular season championship.
Over the last few days, we've received a lot of questions from listeners about the WNIT and when the Cajuns will be back in action. Here are the answers to some of those questions.
Where will the WNIT be played?
Unlike the men's NIT, the WNIT is played at regional sites and not at home sites. This year's regional sites for the WNIT are Memphis, Tennessee; Rockford, Illinois; Fort Worth, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The semifinals and the finals will also be played in Memphis.
Which regional will the Cajuns go to?
We won't know for certain until Monday. If history is any indication, the WNIT will, if possible, place the Cajuns (and all of the other teams) at the closest regional site to their campus. With that in mind, the Cajuns will most likely be placed in the Fort Worth regional. If they don't go there, Memphis is the next most likely option.
Who will the Cajuns play?
We won't know until Monday. That's when the WNIT plans to release its brackets. While the entire 32-team field hasn't been set, we do know a few of the other teams that have qualified. As of Monday, March 15, the other confirmed participants are New Mexico, Samford, UT Martin, California Baptist, Rice, Bowling Green, Dayton, and Delaware. California Baptist went undefeated during the regular season and won the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship. Even if they were to win the WAC Tournament, they are locked into the WNIT. Because California Baptist is in transition to Division I from Division II, they are ineligible for the NCAA Tournament. The WNIT has no such restriction on teams in transition.
When will the Cajuns play?
Louisiana will play its first round game on Friday, March 19. Game times are 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. Of course, overtime and/or other delays are bound to happen, so those times could be adjusted. Second round games will take place on Saturday, March 20, with the regional championship games scheduled for Monday, March 22.
Is this a single-elimination tournament?
Yes and no. It's a single-elimination tournament in the respect that a loss knocks a team out of contention for the tournament title. However, teams are guaranteed to play a minimum of two games. Teams that lose their first round game will be moved to a consolation bracket. The winners of the consolation games will then play each other in a third and final game. Teams that win in the first round and lose in either the second or the third round will be eliminated from the WNIT.
Will the games be televised?
No, but they will be streamed on flohoops.com. You can also hear the games on the Townsquare Media family of stations. More details about that will be announced later.
How do I get more information about the WNIT?
You can visit the WNIT's website by clicking here.
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