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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: UND invited to 2014 WNIT tournament

The start of next season will be memorable as well.

UND announced Tuesday that it has been invited to play in the 2014 Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

“It’s another first for the university,” said UND coach Travis Brewster. “I know our players will be excited about it.”

The WNIT preseason field will include 16 teams and each team is guaranteed three games. The full field of teams will be announced today. The schedule for the event will be announced June 18. UND will find out then whether it will receive a first-round home game.

The opening round games will be held Nov. 14-15, with the winners moving on to a quarterfinal game on either Nov. 16 or 17. The consolation bracket begins Nov. 21 while the semifinals are scheduled Nov. 19-20, with the championship on Nov. 23.

Last season’s field included LSU, Oklahoma, Gonzaga and Louisville. North Carolina won the event two seasons ago.

“This invitation is a major honor for our women’s basketball program at UND,” said UND athletic director Brian Faison. “I know that coach Travis Brewster, his players and staff are looking forward to carrying the UND and Big Sky banners into this prestigious tournament.”

UND becomes the first Big Sky team to participate in the WNIT since Northern Colorado in 2009. Also, UND is the fifth league program to be selected, dating back to 2002.

“From the conversations I’ve had with them, they were intrigued by our turnaround,” said Brewster. Also, UND is still a relative newcomer to Division I basketball, perhaps another factor in its selection.

South Dakota State, which also made a successful transition from Division II to Division I basketball, is a past participant in the event.

“This is a real credit to our players and staff for the work that has been done,” said Brewster.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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