There will be no NCAA tournament for the Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team. Despite a 24-5 record and a RPI of 53, they did not get a berth into the field of 64–but are almost guaranteed a spot in the WNIT.
Two Atlantic 10 teams made the field: Saint Joseph’s, the conference champions (a nine seed in the Bridgeport region) will play eighth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores from the SEC in Storrs, Connecticut. The other team, the Dayton Flyers, only received a seven seed despite a 27-2 record and a top-15 showing in the national rankings. They will take on 10th-seeded St. John’s, also in the Bridgeport region, in Queens–which will amount to a home game for the Red Storm.
The Kansas Jayhawks (18-13, 58 RPI, 4-8 road) and USF Bulls (21-10, 56 RPI, 8-3 road) were selected, despite having worse resumes than Charlotte (24-5, 53 RPI, 11-0 road) at first glance. Unfortunately, it appears the loss to Temple in the first round of the A-10 tournament was the difference between the Niners getting in or being left out.
The same reasoning could apply to Dayton, who received a lower seeding than expected due to their loss to Saint Joseph’s in the tournament.
The WNIT bracket will be released later tonight; stay with Pick Axe Digest for further details and more information on who and where the Niners will play. It’s almost a certainty that the first game, at the very least, will be at Halton Arena, but once we know, you’ll know.