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BYU Women’s Basketball Earns Bid To Inaugural WBIT

Mar 17, 2024, 7:49 PM

BYU Women's Basketball, WBIT, Amber Whiting...

BYU women's basketball coach Amber Whiting leads the Cougars into the inaugural WBIT. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s basketball will play in the postseason.

The Cougars received an at-large bid in the inaugural WBIT (Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament).

BYU will go on the road and face a familiar foe, former WCC opponent Santa Clara.

The Broncos earned a 4-seed and are the host team in the matchup. Both teams will square off on Thursday, March 21.

BYU goes into the matchup with a 16-16 overall record and was ranked 82nd in the NET ratings. Santa Clara is 22-8 this season and was ranked 69th in the NET.

The BYU/Santa Clara matchup winner will advance to face the winner of No. 1-seed Washington State or Lamar.

What is the WBIT?

The WBIT is a new NCAA-sanctioned tournament.

NCAA officials created the event after a recommendation from the 2021 Gender Equity Report asked for equitable postseason opportunities in women’s basketball as the men’s counterparts (NCAA Tournament & NIT).

If teams don’t receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament, the WBIT is next in line for the best postseason opportunities.

The WBIT features a 32-team field. Games will played at host venues until the Semifinals and Championship rounds. Those matchups will occur at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on April 1 and April 3.

All of the games can be watched on an ESPN network.

BYU women’s basketball season recap

Star forward Lauren Gustin leads BYU. The First Team All-Big 12 senior leads the nation in rebounds at 15.4 boards per game.

Along with her rebounding, Gustin is 79th nationally in scoring at 17.0 points per game.

BYU enters the WBIT with some questions regarding the injury status of freshman guard Kailey Woolston. The Honorable Mention All-Big 12 guard suffered an injury in the first half of BYU’s loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament last week.

BYU is among the best teams in the nation in three-point percentage this season, at 36.1% from beyond the arc, which is good for 25th nationally.

Second-year head coach Amber Whiting earned a postseason bid for the second consecutive season overseeing the program. Last year, BYU lost to the Rice Owls in the opening round of the WNIT.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Women’s Basketball Earns Bid To Inaugural WBIT