Women's National Invitation Tournament

The Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) is a women's national college basketball tournament with a preseason and postseason version played every year. It is operated in a similar fashion to the men's college National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and NIT Season Tip-Off. Unlike the NIT, the women's tournament is not run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), but is an independent national championship. Triple Crown Sports, a company based in Fort Collins, Colorado that specializes in the promotion of amateur sporting events,[1] created the WNIT in 1994 as a preseason counterpart to the then-current National Women's Invitational Tournament (NWIT). After the NWIT folded in 1996, Triple Crown Sports resurrected the postseason version in 1998 under the NWIT name, but changed the following season to the current name.[2]

Women's National Invitation Tournament
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2019 Women's National Invitation Tournament
Logo of the Women's National Invitational Tournament
Founded1994 (preseason)
1998 (postseason)
FounderTriple Crown Sports
Inaugural season1994 (preseason)
1998 (postseason)
No. of teams16 (preseason)
64 (postseason)
Country United States
Most recent
Arizona (2019 postseason)
TV partner(s)CBS Sports Network
Women's Basketball Invitational
Official websitewww.womensnit.com


The WNIT began in 1994 as a 16-team preseason tournament; the preseason version has remained at that field size throughout its history. Originally, the preseason WNIT was a single-elimination tournament, but since the 2007 edition has used a format which guarantees all participating teams three games. Since it is classified by the NCAA as an "exempt" event, a team can only participate in the preseason WNIT once every four years; additionally, only one team per conference may participate.[3]

The postseason WNIT started in 1998 as a 16-team tournament. It was doubled to a 32-team tournament in 1999. In 2006, competing schools assumed more responsibility, hosting the early rounds of the tourney, and additional expansion was made to forty teams. At that time, schools which won their regular-season conference title but were excluded from the NCAA tournament by having lost their conference tournament were awarded automatic bids. The field was further expanded in 2007 to 48 teams, with automatic bids awarded to each Division I conference. The tournament was expanded to its current 64 teams in 2010.[4]

The postseason field consists of 32 automatic berths – one from each conference – and 32 at-large teams. Thirty-two spots in the Postseason WNIT are filled automatically by the best team available in each of the nation’s 32 conferences, If a conference’s automatic qualifier team declines the WNIT invitation, the conference forfeits that automatic spot, and that selection goes into the pool of at-large schools. The remaining 32 team slots in the Postseason WNIT are filled by the top teams available. Any team from a Division I conference, or a Division I independent team, will be considered. Any team considered for an at-large berth must have an overall record of .500 or better. Bids are announced on the evening of the same day that the NCAA tourney bids are made.[4]

The current, 64-team tournament has 32 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. Since the WNIT is a for-profit tournament, all games are played on the site of the higher bidding team.[5] The national championship game is currently carried on CBS Sports Network.[4]

Championship historyEdit


Year Champion Runner-up Venue and city
1998* Penn State 59 Baylor 56 Ferrell Center Waco, Texas
1999 Arkansas 67 Wisconsin 64 Bud Walton Arena Fayetteville, Arkansas
2000 Wisconsin 75 Florida 74 Kohl Center Madison, Wisconsin
2001 Ohio State 62 New Mexico 61 University Arena Albuquerque, New Mexico
2002 Oregon 54 Houston 52 McArthur Court Eugene, Oregon
2003 Auburn 64 Baylor 63 Ferrell Center Waco, Texas
2004 Creighton 73 UNLV 52 Omaha Civic Auditorium Omaha, Nebraska
2005 SW Missouri State  78 West Virginia 70 Hammons Student Center Springfield, Missouri
2006 Kansas State 77 Marquette 65 Bramlage Coliseum Manhattan, Kansas
2007 Wyoming 72 Wisconsin 56 Arena-Auditorium Laramie, Wyoming
2008 Marquette 81 Michigan State 66 Breslin Student Events Center East Lansing, Michigan
2009 South Florida 75 Kansas 71 Allen Fieldhouse Lawrence, Kansas
2010 California 73 Miami (FL) 61 Haas Pavilion Berkeley, California
2011 Toledo 76 USC 68 Savage Arena Toledo, Ohio
2012 Oklahoma State 75 James Madison 68 Gallagher-Iba Arena Stillwater, Oklahoma
2013 Drexel 46 Utah 43 Daskalakis Athletic Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2014 Rutgers 56 UTEP 54 Don Haskins Center El Paso, Texas
2015 UCLA 62 West Virginia 60 Charleston Civic Center Charleston, West Virginia
2016 South Dakota 71 Florida Gulf Coast 65 DakotaDome Vermillion, South Dakota
2017 Michigan 89 Georgia Tech 79 Calihan Hall Detroit, Michigan
2018 Indiana 65 Virginia Tech 57 Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Bloomington, Indiana
2019 Arizona 56 Northwestern 42 McKale Center Tucson, Arizona

*Was called National Women's Invitational Tournament.


Year Champion Runner-up Final venue and city
1994* Washington 79 Texas Tech 75
1995* Colorado 73 Arkansas 71 Bud Walton Arena Fayetteville, Arkansas
1996* Louisiana Tech 66 Tennessee 64 Thomas Assembly Center Ruston, Louisiana
1997* Connecticut 71 Nebraska 61 Gampel Pavilion Storrs, Connecticut
1998 Colorado State 71 Rutgers 60 Moby Arena Fort Collins, Colorado
1999 Georgia 85 UC Santa Barbara 64 Assembly Hall Champaign, Illinois
2000 Louisiana Tech 68 Purdue 63 Mackey Arena West Lafayette, Indiana
2001 Connecticut 69 Vanderbilt 50 Gampel Pavilion Storrs, Connecticut
2002 Kansas State 88 Penn State 66 Bramlage Coliseum Manhattan, Kansas
2003 Texas Tech 73 Rutgers 45 United Spirit Arena Lubbock, Texas
2004 Notre Dame 66 Ohio State 62 Joyce Center Notre Dame, Indiana
2005 Connecticut 82 Oklahoma 62 Gampel Pavilion Storrs, Connecticut
2006 Purdue 69 Baylor 55 Ferrell Center Waco, Texas
2007 Maryland 75 LSU 62 Comcast Center College Park, Maryland
2008 North Carolina 80 Oklahoma 79 Lloyd Noble Center Norman, Oklahoma
2009 Ohio State 93 Oklahoma State 72 Value City Arena Columbus, Ohio
2010 Purdue 67 DePaul 58 Mackey Arena West Lafayette, Indiana
2011 Baylor 94 Notre Dame 81 Ferrell Center Waco, Texas
2012 North Carolina 77 Iowa 64 Carver–Hawkeye Arena Iowa City, Iowa
2013 Louisville 97OT Oklahoma 92 Lloyd Noble Center Norman, Oklahoma
2014 Mississippi State 88 Western Kentucky 77 Humphrey Coliseum Mississippi State, Mississippi
2015 Baylor 86 DePaul 72 Ferrell Center Waco, Texas
2016 Notre Dame 71 Washington 60 Joyce Center Notre Dame, Indiana
2017 Louisville 74 Oregon 61 KFC Yum! Center Louisville, Kentucky
2018 Iowa State 75 Miami (FL) 52 Hilton Coliseum Ames, Iowa

*Was called National Women's Invitational Tournament.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Triple Crown Sports - Home". www.triplecrownsports.com.
  2. ^ Cooper, Gregory. "Women's College Basketball Championship Page". womenscollegebasketballhistory.com.
  3. ^ "WNIT: Event Info". Triple Crown Sports. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c http://e2610e49e73dae8de499-6e5b748039b4e30346256f8b5cfb4188.r28.cf2.rackcdn.com/2013WNITPostseasonNotes.pdf
  5. ^ "FGCU sees payoff to being postseason hosts". The News-Press. Retrieved 2016-04-03.

External linksEdit