It took about 15 minutes after the ESPN broadcast of the NCAA selection show ended, but we have official confirmation now: YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles will be a part of the 64 team field for the 2022 WNIT!
Four teams from the Big East qualified for the NCAA tournament: UConn as the automatic bid, along with Creighton, Villanova, and DePaul. Those were also the top four teams in the Big East standings this season, and so the Golden Eagles are the automatic bid to the WNIT as the best team still remaining.
That’s all we know about the WNIT right now. The tournament only announced the 64 teams that will be in the field. The actual bracket with matchups won’t be announced until 1pm Central time tomorrow. I think this is a pretty good way to go about this: Jump on the wave of everyone talking about postseason hoops right now, and then spend the next 15 hours finalizing plans for hosting and travel and so on.
Marquette went 21-10 this season with a record of 13-7 in Big East action. Lauren Van Kleunen leads a group of four Golden Eagles north of 10 points a game at 13.3 points per outing. Liza Karlen is the team’s leading rebounder at 7.2 caroms per contest, barely beating out Chloe Marotta’s 7.0, and Karlen is also one of the four women in double digit territory in scoring as well.
Seton Hall is the only other team from the Big East to qualify for the WNIT. At 19-12, the Pirates picked up an at-large bid to the field. They went 12-8 in league action, including nine of their last 10 games. They reached the Big East semifinals, upsetting #3 seed Creighton along the way in the quarterfinals.
And so we adjourn until Monday afternoon, when we will find out who MU’s first opponent will be. According to the WNIT’s press release, Marquette’s first game will be on either March 16th, 17th, or 18th. As long as it’s not on Thursday between about 3pm Central and 6pm Central, when the men’s team’s game against North Carolina is scheduled to be played, I hope the Golden Eagles get to play at home.