March 13, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (19-12) earned an automatic bid to the 2017 Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament and will play its first round game on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, Pa.
The 2017WNIT will feature 64 schools, 32 with automatic bids and 32 at-large teams, in a single-elimination championship format. The Postseason WNIT will open with first-round games Wednesday through Friday, March 16-18. The event culminates Saturday, April 2 with the championship game. Virginia earned the Atlantic Coast Conference's automatic berth to the tournament and is one of four ACC schools in the tournament.
The winner will advance to play either JMU or Radford in the second round.
Exact game dates, locations and times for subsequent-round games will be released as the tournament progresses.
This is Virginia's eighth trip to the WNIT, having reached the quarterfinals four times. Last season, Virginia advanced to the Round-of-16 when the Cavaliers fell 65-57 at Hofstra. Head coach Joanne Boyle won the WNIT championship in 2010 while coaching at California.
The Postseason WNIT, now in its 20th year, began in 1998 with 16 teams playing for a postseason crown and has since expanded four times. Following the inaugural year, the field doubled to 32 teams and remained there until 2006 when the WNIT expanded to a 40-team field to give berths to teams that won their regular-season conference title but did not win their conference tournament and therefore were excluded from the NCAA Tournament. The WNIT furthered that commitment to conference schools again in 2007, when the event expanded to 48 teams and awarded an automatic berth to each conference. The number of at-large berths remained at 17 until 2010, when the WNIT felt that the level of women's basketball warranted a 64-team field. Since then, the WNIT fulfills berths for 32 automatic teams and 32 teams selected at-large.
First-round games will be held March 15-17; the second round runs March 18-21. Round 3 is slated for March 22-24; Round 4 is March 25-27, and the WNIT semifinals are set for March 29-30. The WNIT Championship Game will be played at 3 p.m. ET on April 1 and air live on CBS Sports Network. Thad Anderson (PXP) and Ceal Barry (Analyst) will call the game.
Date Ranges for Postseason WNIT Games
Round 1: Mar. 15-17 (Wed-Fri)
Round 2: Mar. 18-21 (Sat-Tue)
Round 3: Mar. 22-24 (Wed-Fri)
Round 4: Mar. 25-27 (Sat-Mon)
Semifinals: Mar. 29-30 (Wed/Thur)
Championship: April 1 (Saturday)
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Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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