FORT WAYNE, Ind. -For the second time in school history, the IPFW women’s basketball team has been selected as one of 16 teams to participate in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, and will play UIC at 8 p.m. (EDT) on March 19 in Chicago. IPFW is one of only two Division I schools in the state of Indiana to have both its men’s and women’s teams playing in the postseason.
IPFW enters the postseason with a 15-14 record after finishing the regular season third in the Summit League, but fell in the first round of the Summit League tournament. Earlier this season the Mastodons knocked off then ranked No. 18/21 Michigan State, their first win over a ranked team in the Division I era. The Mastodons also defeated Detroit, who won the 2013 WBI Championship over McNeese State. This will be the second time that IPFW will play in the WBI, the ‘Dons also made an appearance in 2011, falling to Cleveland State 73-62 in the first round.
UIC, who is 22-9 on the year, fell in the Horizon League semi-finals to Green Bay 68-59, after defeating Cleveland State in the quarterfinals. The squads have two common opponents on this year’s schedule; both teams defeated SIUE and Detroit on the road. The Flames also defeated Detroit in their final regular season game at home. UIC owns the nation’s second largest turnaround with 13 more victories than the 2012-13 season. The Flames set the program record with 22 wins and tied the program record with 11 straight victories.
The two teams have only met twice in program history, 2001 and 2004, with UIC winning both contests.
The WBI begins its fifth year providing a choice for postseason worthy Division I women’s teams who wish to continue their season but who do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites.
The first round WBI games will be held March 19 or 20. Per usual, the highest rated team will host each game unless otherwise agreed upon. The WBI second round contests will be held March 22 or 23 at the highest remaining seed with the semifinals set for March 26 or 27. The WBI championship game will take place March 29 or 30 with the team with the best end of season RPI hosting the title contest.