Monday, March 18, 2013

NCAAs, WNIT on tap for state teams

The victorious Liberty Lady Flames

OK, now that the conference tournaments are over, which of Virginia's Division I schools will get to keep playing?

First, a few particulars:

NCAA Selection Show:  Monday, 7 p.m. on ESPN

WNIT selections: Monday, "late in the evening" via the tournament's website. Expect word to come down somewhere between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) selections: Also at some point this evening. Check the tournament website for updates.

Who's still in play:

Hampton (28-5) - The Lady Pirates cruised to their fourth straight MEAC tournament title and will hear their name called on tonight's NCAA show. Most projections have Hampton seeded somewhere between 13-15.   Lady Pirates coach David Six said a 13 seed would be fair, and we agree. Let's see how it plays out.
Celebrate with the Lady Pirates: The team will host a selection show party Monday beginning at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.

Liberty (27-6) - The Lady Flames invited themselves to the NCAAs by winning the Big South title for the 15th time in 17 years. As is the case with Hampton, a 13 seed for the Lady Flames would certainly be justified in our opinion.
Celebrate with the Lady Flames: Liberty's selection show celebration event will be held Monday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the third-floor Club Pavilion at Williams Stadium.


James Madison (22-10): The WNIT automatically invites a conference's highest finisher that doesn't receive an NCAA bid. While the Dukes are technically in play to be selected at-large by the NCAAs, they will almost certainly wind up in the WNIT. A year ago, faced with this same scenario, the Dukes rattled off five home WNIT victories en route to the tournament final.

Richmond (16-15) - The Spiders have an RPI of 103, well within the range of teams typically selected for the 64-team WNIT. We would be stunned if they don't get invited.

Old Dominion (19-11) - We've been saying for weeks that ODU was likely to get a bid, again, based on the profiles of teams typically selected by the WNIT in years past. Furthermore, on Doug Ripley's "Inside Monarch Nation" radio show Saturday, ODU athletics director Wood Selig said the school has bid to host "several rounds" of the WNIT. This makes sense, as ODU is usually proactive when it comes to bringing national events to town. So there's a decent chance that, if the Lady Monarchs do indeed get a bid, they'll get to play in the friendly confines of the Constant Center.

Note: Virginia (16-14) would almost certainly have received a WNIT bid, but last week, Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle announced that her team would decline any postseason possibilities because of a rash of injuries.

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