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Houston Cougars Women's Hoops Earns At-Large Bid to WNIT

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POSTED: March 15, 2021 -- 10:43 p.m. CT

The Houston Cougars women's basketball team will make its seventh appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) after earning one of 23 at-large bids to the postseason event.

The Cougars are in a unique position as the first team out of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament field. Due to NCAA COVID-19 protocols if a team in the field of 64 were unable to participate in the tournament within the next 48 hours, Houston would replace the team if they come from a multi-bid league.

For the third time in the last four years the Houston Cougars are headed to the postseason. After compiling a 16-7 overall record, including a 12-4 mark in conference play UH will play in the Fort Worth region. Houston will face San Francisco (15-10, 10-7 WCC) on March 19 at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.

The 2021 tournament marks the 23rd year of the event and features a 32-team field due to COVID-19 protocols. Houston is one of two teams in The American to be invited to the event, joining Tulane. The first round of games will take place on Friday, March 19 followed by the second round on March 20 and the third round on March 22. The regional champions will advance to the Memphis site, with the semifinals tipping off March 26, followed by the Championships game on March 28.

All games will be streamed through FloHoops. Every team will play at least two games with this year's tournament featuring a four-team consolation bracket at each regional site.

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This year's event will start with eight teams each at four regional sites — Charlotte, NC; Fort Worth, TX; Memphis, TN; and Rockford, IL. First-round play begins Friday, March 19; Round 2 is March 20, and Round 3 is March 22. The four regional champions will advance to the Memphis site, with the semifinals tipping off March 26 and the championship game set for March 28.

All games will be available via streaming through FloHoops. Every team will get at least two games in this year's event.

This is the 23rd year for the Postseason WNIT and the first year the event has bracketed only 32 teams since 2006, as tournament officials pared the event back because of COVID-19 issues. Scheduling restrictions this season made it impossible for teams to play their normal number of games, but four squads still notched 20 or more victories (Bowling Green, California Baptist, Delaware, UT Martin).

This year's tournament features four teams from the Atlantic 10 and three teams each from the Big East, Missouri Valley and SEC. Five conferences placed two each — American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Pac-12. Other conferences represented include the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Colonial, West Coast, Horizon, Ohio Valley, Southern, Sun Belt and Western Athletic.

2021 WNIT Fort Worth Regional

Round 1 - Friday, March 19 (all times Central)

In bracket order; designated home team listed second

Game 1 Arizona State (11-10) vs. Rice (18-4) 11 a.m. FloHoops
Game 2 Fresno State (16-10) vs. Missouri (9-11) 2 p.m. FloHoops
Game 3 San Francisco (15-10) vs. Houston (16-7) 5 p.m. FloHoops
Game 4 California Baptist (24-0) vs. New Mexico (15-4) 8 p.m. FloHoops

Round 2 - Saturday, March 20 (all times Central)

Consolation No. 1 Losers Game 1 and 2 11 a.m. FloHoops
Consolation No. 2 Losers Game 3 and 4 2 p.m. FloHoops
Championship Semifinal No. 1 Winners Game 1 and 2 5 p.m. FloHoops
Championship Semifinal No. 2 Winners Game 3 and 4 8 p.m. FloHoops

Round 3 - Monday, March 22 (all times Central)

Consolation Final Winners Consolation 1 and 2 4 p.m. FloHoops
Championship Final Winners Semifinal 1 and 2 7 p.m. FloHoops

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