After five Big Ten teams were selected to the women's NCAA tournament, four more received invitations to the WNIT, including Michigan. The Wolverines (18-13) will host Stony Brook (24-8) of the America East conference in round 1 on Friday at 7 pm. The full bracket is here.
The other three Big Ten teams and most other teams from the Midwest, including CMU and Green Bay (both coached by former U-M head coaches), were put in a different regional than Michigan's. Kim Barnes Arico's team was instead placed into a regional largely composed of teams from the East, perhaps fitting given her roots.
At first glance, the most interesting matchups would come in round 3 or later. Michigan could get a rematch in round 3 with Bowling Green, a team that beat the Wolverines in the season opener 63-52. If U-M makes it to the quarterfinals, they could play future Big Ten foe Rutgers or Seton Hall from the Big East.
This is the fifth-straight year of postseason play for Michigan, which matches the longest such streak in program history (1998-2002 was the previous one). And this will be the Wolverines' sixth WNIT appearance (1999, 2002, 2008, 2010, and 2011 were the previous ones). Their best showing came in 2010 when they made it to the semifinals.
Good luck to the Michigan women as they seek to hang their first banner in Crisler.