The Rice women’s basketball season ends without an NCAA Tournament selection. Instead, the Owls are headed to WNIT for postseason play.
Rice women’s basketball lost a heartbreaker to Middle Tennesse in the Conference USA Championship Game on Saturday. Rice trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half but thundered back to make it a one-score game in the final seconds.
The loss marks the first conference tournament defeated in the last three sees for Rice. It also means the Owls’ long-hoped automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament disappeared as well. Hoping for an at-large selection, Rice was disappointed when their name was not called on Selection Monday.
The Owls season is not over yet, though. Rice will accept an invitation to the WNIT as an automatic qualifier. Rice will play Arizona State in their first round matchup.
🚨 BREAKING | 2021 Postseason WNIT Bracket Released!
Matchups, game times set for 32-team 2021 Postseason WNIT powered by @triplecrownspts
— WNIT (@WomensNIT) March 16, 2021
Fellow Conference USA squad Charlotte has also made the field. They’ll play Florida. Rice women’s basketball will play its first game on Friday. It can be streamed on FloHoops.
The structure for the tournament has been tweaked. Each of the four regions will include an opening round on Friday, March 19 followed by a second-round on Saturday, March 20 featuring semifinal matchups and a consolation round. The finals for the championship bracket and consolation bracket will be played on Monday, March 22.
Rice last played in the WNIT in 2018. The Owls defeated Texas State in Round 1 before falling to New Mexico in Round 2. Rice last made the NCAA Tournament in 2019, falling in overtime to Marquette in College Station, TX.