GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- The University of North Dakota women's basketball team has been invited to participate in the 2014 Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament school officials announced Tuesday. UND becomes the first Big Sky Conference school to participate in the event since Northern Colorado was selected to play in the 2009-10 campaign.
"This invitation is a major honor for our women's basketball program at UND," said Athletics 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."
The Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament began in its modern form in 1994. It is organized and produced by Triple Crown Sports, a national sports event company based in Fort Collins, Colo. The 2013 championship game was televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.
Locations and dates for the tournament will be announced along with the entire 16-team field on June 18. Teams participating in the Preseason WNIT are guaranteed three games as part of the event with the teams advancing to the championship playing a fourth game. The opening round games will be Nov. 14-15 with winners moving on to a quarterfinal game on either Nov. 16 or 17. The consolation bracket begins Nov. 21 while the semifinals are held Nov. 19-20 with the championship on Nov. 23.
"It's another historic first for the University of North Dakota and the women's basketball program." UND’s third-year head coach said. "It's a tribute to our student-athletes and their efforts and our coaches to be a part of such a prestigious tournament. We're prepared for this kind of opportunity to start the year. It's a good opportunity for us to come together early in the season as a team."
North Dakota is the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champion from a season ago, a year that saw UND go 22-10 overall and advance to its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament.
Big Sky Conference teams invited to participate in the Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament all-time
2014- North Dakota
2009- Northern Colorado
2006- Idaho State
2005- Eastern Washington
2002- Northern Arizona