Mountain West Sends Three Teams To Women's Basketball National Postseason Tournaments
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West will send three women's basketball teams to national postseason tournaments in 2016. Colorado State will move on to the NCAA Tournament with the league’s automatic bid. Fresno State earned the Conference’s automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), while New Mexico has accepted a bid to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
This year marks the 17th consecutive season in which the Mountain West has sent multiple teams to the postseason. It is the 14th consecutive year, and 16th overall, that the MW will have a representative in the WNIT.
Colorado State (31-1) earned the Mountain West automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament with a 55-54 win over Fresno State on Friday, March 11 to win the MW Championship final. It will be the first NCAA appearance for the Rams since 2002. Colorado State, the No. 11 seed in the Bridgeport Region, will face No. 6 seed South Florida (23-9) in the first round at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, March 19 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Rams and Bulls, an at-large representative from the American Athletic Conference. Colorado State, making its sixth overall NCAA postseason appearance, is 5-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Host UCLA (24-8), the No. 3 seed, will face No. 14 seed Hawai‘i (21-10) on Saturday, March 19 at 3:30 p.m. PT prior to the CSU-USF game. The Rams are 0-1 against the Bruins, a Pacific-12 at-large representative, and 4-0 against the Rainbow Wahine, the Big West automatic qualifier. The winner of the Colorado State-South Florida match-up will face the winner of UCLA-Hawai‘i on Monday, March 21 on ESPN22 with tip time to be announced.
Women's National Invitational Tournament
Fresno State (21-11), the MW regular season and tournament runner-up, earned an automatic bid to the 2016 Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Bulldogs are making their second consecutive and seventh overall appearance in the WNIT. Fresno State will host West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara (23-8) in the first round on Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. Fresno State is 7-8 overall in the tournament with previous appearances in 1986, 1990, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2015. The winner will face the winner of Oregon-Long Beach State in the second round.
Women's Basketball Invitational
New Mexico (17-14) accepted a bid to the 2016 Women’s Basketball Invitational. It is the second consecutive appearance in the WBI for the Lobos. New Mexico, the No. 2 seed in the West Region, will host Weber State (20-11) in the first round on Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. MT at the Johnson Center, on the main campus at UNM. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. The winner will advance to play the winner of the North Dakota-Grand Canyon game in the second round.