Over brunch at the Smoke Shack on Sunday while discussing the grim outlook for men's basketball post season hopes with Brewtown Andy, I realized that the Marquette women might not get a post season bid. I've felt all season that I was getting the better half of the Marquette basketball experience by watching the women, but I was less certain while eating my pulled pork eggs Benedict.
The regular season ending bombing by Villanova which locked the Golden Eagles into fifth place in the conference dashed all hope of an NCAA bid short of a Big East tournament title, but the WNIT seemed a reasonable expectation. But thinking about Marquette's RPI (86) got me a bit nervous until I found out that unlike the men's National Invitational Tournament, the women's version includes 64 teams. Marquette is one of five Big East teams to get an NIT nod: Villanova, Creighton, Seton Hall, and Butler also got invites so my panic was probably misplaced.
The Golden Eagles will have to travel to Terre Haute to take on the Sycamores of Indiana State on Thursday. Game time is still to be determined. It's disappointing, as is ISU's insistence on not providing video streaming for any other their games, but not unexpected given that MU Athletics staff have hosting responsibilities for the NCAA events at the Bradley Center. Thus, we will not be able to #PackTheAl.... YET.
Indiana State finished the season 20-11 overall and 14-4 in conference to win a share of the Missouri Valley regular season championship. They earned an automatic berth into the WNIT after dropping their semi-final match to Drake in the MVC tournament.