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WNIT Could Be in Ducks' Future
Release Date: 03/11/2014
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EUGENE, Ore. - With a 15-15 record after the 2013-14 season, the Oregon women's basketball team could be looking at a WNIT bid next week.

The Ducks will find out on the evening of Monday, March 17, if they will advance to the WNIT and if they will be hosting or hitting the road in the first round.

Selection – Monday, March 17, Round 1 – March 19-21, Round 2 – March 22-25, Round 3 – March 26-28, Round 4 – March 29-31, Semifinals – April 2-3, Championship – Sat., April 5, 6 p.m. PT.

With a .500 record following a first-round loss in the Pac-12 Tournament, the Ducks are eligible for the WNIT. The 64-team field will be announced on the evening of Monday, March 17. Participating schools host games, including the championship, which will take place on April 5. There are two ways to qualify for the WNIT. The first is to be an automatic qualifier, which is for the highest finishing team in its conference standings that does not advance to the NCAA Tournament. The remaining spots in the tournament are filled at-large, with the only qualification being a .500 record. The selection committee will look at six different rankings (Top-25, NCAA RPI, Sagarin, RealTime, Massy and Moore) in comparing schools.

Oregon checks in at 120 in the in the NCAA RPI but is much higher in the other rankings the WNIT uses. The Ducks are No. 68 in the Sagarin ratings, No. 108 in the RealTime RPI, No. 77 in the Massey ratings and No. 73 in the Moore ratings. Those numbers will change after other conference tournaments are played this weekend as Oregon's strength of schedule numbers go up or down.

Oregon has gone to the WNIT (or NWIT) five times in program history - 1979, 1989, 2002, 2007 and 2010 - with a 13-3 record and two titles.  In 1979, Oregon fell in the consolation bracket after going 3-1 in the tournament. UO defeated Minnesota (85-74), lost to Stephen F. Austin (76-53), beat Colorado (74-67) and lost to USC (67-64). Oregon went 3-0 to win the NWIT in 1989 (hosted in Amarillo, Texas), defeating DePaul (82-77) in the quarterfinals, Toldeo (93-63) in the semifinals and San Diego State (67-64) in the title game. The Ducks won the WNIT in 2002, which included five games. Oregon knocked off Saint Mary’s in the first round (71-61), Oregon State in the second round (50-48), Washington in the quarterfinals (77-73), Michigan State in the semifinals (65-54) and Houston in the title game (54-52). Oregon had a bye to start the 2007 tournament and knocked off UC Santa Barbara (70-54) before falling to Wyoming (64-62). In head coach Paul Westhead’s first season, 2010, the Ducks defeated Eastern Wash. in the first round (95-66) and New Mexico in the second round (93-67) before losing to California in the quarterfinals (71-57).

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