JONESBORO (AStateRedWolves.com) - The Arkansas State women's basketball team was part of a 16-team bracket that was announced Tuesday for the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Red Wolves will host Jackson State in the opening round Nov. 14 at 7:05 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
The tournament includes a three-game guarantee for all teams and the event opens Nov. 14-15 with round one at the host sites of the participating schools. The second round will be played Nov. 16-17 and the semifinals Nov. 19-20. The championship game is set for Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. central time and will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
A-State is 2-0 all-time against Jackson State with one victory coming in a tournament format. The Red Wolves defeated the Lady Tigers 85-39 in 1999 in the opening game of the Cook Children's TCU Invitational and then topped the squad 69-62 in 2001 in a regular season non-conference matchup.
Jackson State head coach Surina Dixon served on Brian Boyer's staff at Arkansas State in 1999-2000 where she helped the team to the first top-25 national ranking in school history. Arkansas State finished the season with an overall record of 18-12 and appeared in the WNIT postseason tournament for the second consecutive season. Dixon left A-State at the conclusion of the year to become the head women's basketball coach at Maryland Eastern Shore.
A-State has made two previous appearances in the preseason tournament with the most recent in 1998 where it fell to Florida in the opening round. The Red Wolves also participated in the inaugural Preseason WNIT tournament (known as the NWIT at the time) in 1994 and advanced into the second round.
The Preseason WNIT kicks off the women's college basketball season and will be played Nov. 14-23. The tournament is formatted to give all teams a three-game guarantee. The event opens Nov. 14-15 with Round One. Round Two will be played Nov. 16-17; Semifinals will be Nov. 20; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. ET. The championship game will be nationally televised live on CBS Sports Network.
If a team loses in the first two rounds, they will finish the tournament in the consolation bracket. The consolation bracket will be re-drawn to form new matchups based on the geography of teams involved, who can/cannot host, and recent history of teams. The consolation bracket will be released Nov. 16 after all of the Round One games are complete.
Nine of the 16 teams in the field are coming off postseason appearances, including five teams in the NCAA Tournament and four in the WNIT. Six teams in this year's field are making their first appearance in the Preseason WNIT: Albany, Central Arkansas, Mercer, North Dakota, Rider, and St. Francis Brooklyn. Western Kentucky is in the field for the fourth time (2007, 2003, 1997), and it's the third appearance for Arkansas State (1998, 1994) and Colorado (2001, 1995). It's the second appearance for Eastern Kentucky (2001), Jackson State (2003), Mississippi State (2002), Penn State (2002 – Runners-Up), Seton Hall (1994), Towson (2009), and West Virginia (2009).