Earlier today, the bracket for the Preseason WNIT, which runs from November 14th through the 23rd, was released. We have known for a while that the Lady Toppers would be a host site, but what we finally know is who they’ll open the tournament against. And that, ladies and gentleman, will be the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears. (But, with a name like “Hilltoppers,” I guess we can’t judge too much.)
The Sugar Bears participate in the Southland Conference, went 18-12 last year, and will return eight players, including the Southland Freshman of the year. UCA will be participating in their first ever Preseason WNIT.
The Lady Toppers, on the other hand, are making their fourth appearance (which is the most among all of the 2014 competitors), and have an all time record of 6-3 and are 4-0 all time in Diddle Arena. WKU last competed in 2007, going 2-1, beating both East Tennessee State and Evansville in Diddle, but eventually losing to Notre Dame in South Bend. The Lady Tops are also the first team from Conference USA (July 1st is coming up, yall!) since Memphis appeared in 2012.
Upon first look of the bracket, it looks like the Lady Tops got a pretty generous draw (although, I have no clue if an actual draw was used). WKU is on the same side as Central Arkansas, North Dakota, Albany, Stony Brook and St. Francis Brooklyn, but also schools like Colorado and Penn State. If WKU is successful in beating the Sugar Bears, they will play the winner of Colorado and North Dakota on the road. Oh, speaking of those Lady Nittany’s, they and the Lady Toppers both finished last year with 24 wins, which is the third best win total of all participating teams. The full bracket can be seen below.
Tip-off for the Lady Tops and Sugar Bears is set for 7 p.m.