Sport Tours International Announces 16-Team WBI Field
Seventh annual event features five 20+ win teams
MILWAUKEE, WI — Defending champion University of Louisiana highlights the field for the 2016 Women’s Basketball Invitational announced today (Mar. 14) by event sponsor Sport Tours International. The Ragin’ Cajuns bring a 21-win team into the tournament in hopes of defending their crown.
Louisiana will host fellow state school Northwestern State at 5 pm on Mar. 16. NW State enters the WBI with a 19-11 mark to counter the 21-10 ledger of the Ragin’ Cajuns. In the bottom of the bracket the Hatters of Stetson University will bring a 19-11 mark into postseason and will host McNeese State University (20-12) on Mar. 17 at 7 pm. Stetson is one of two Atlantic Sun teams in the field while the Cowgirls of the Southland will be making their 4th WBI appearance.
Youngstown State, one of two Horizon League teams, will host a first round game on Mar. 16 when the Seawolves of Stony Brook come to town. YSU brings a 19-12 record into the WBI while Stony Brook owns a 17-14 mark. The final game on that side of the bracket features 17-13 UMBC hosting Fairfield University of the MAAC. The Retrievers host the Stags at 7 pm on Mar. 17. Fairfield will also be making its fourth WBI appearance.
Northern Kentucky University of the Horizon League returns for its third appearance to the WBI and will host USC Upstate at 7 pm on Mar. 17. The Norse bring a 19-13 mark into postseason while USC Upstate of the Atlantic Sun brings a 20-11 record into its third WBI tournament.
A battle of Illinois is featured in the next matchup as the Salukis of Southern Illinois will travel to Macomb to face the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University. SIU from the Missouri Valley Conference brings a 20-12 record while WIU of the Summit League owns a 15-15 mark. This game is set for 7 pm on Mar. 17.
The University of North Dakota is one of two Big Sky Conference teams in the 2016 event and it will host Grand Canyon on Mar. 17 at 7 pm. UND (18-13) is a three-time WBI participant while Grand Canyon of the WAC will make its second WBI showing with a 16-14 mark.
The last of eight first round games features the Lobos of the University of New Mexico hosting Weber State University of the Big Sky. UNM of the Mountain West Conference brings a 17-14 record into its second WBI appearance while the Wildcats make their WBI debut with a 20-11 mark.
The second round 2016 WBI games will be played Mar. 19 or 20 on campus sites with the semifinals set for Mar. 23 or 24. The 2016 Championship game will be played on Mar. 26 or 27 on a campus site. Please check www.womensbasketballinvitational.com for more details or follow @PostseasonWBI on Twitter.