Lady Tops’ WNIT fate revealed tonight

The Lady Toppers will watch the women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament selection show intently tonight, but not for their own dreams of going dancing.

They’ll be watching to see whether or not Arkansas-Little Rock is chosen. If the Trojans (26-6) make the tournament, Western would gain an automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament as the next-highest finisher in the Sun Belt Conference.

That seems unlikely, though, as ESPN’s women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme had UALR as one of his “next four out” of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

If UALR is snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, the Trojans will earn the Sun Belt’s automatic bid to the WNIT. Then Western’s fate comes down to whether the WNIT selects more than one team from a pretty weak Sun Belt Conference.

But many things seem to be in the Lady Toppers’ favor for an at-large bid, including that their RPI was 82 as of Sunday, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

The NCAA Tournament field will be revealed at 6 p.m. CT tonight on ESPN. The WNIT will release its bracket after on its Web site.

I’ll be back tonight with an update on Western’s WNIT status, including whether or not they will be able to host a first-round game in the tournament.

-Zach Greenwell

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