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ASU women's basketball selected to play in WNIT

The Sun Devils will play against Rice University in the first round on March 19

Photo Mar 03, 3 02 42 PM.jpg

ASU freshman guard Jaddan Simmons (2) drives against USC in Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. ASU lost to USC 71-65.

ASU women's basketball has been selected to play in the Women's National Invitational Tournament as an at-large bid.

ASU will face Rice University on March 19 at 9 a.m. MST for its first game in the WNIT.

The 2021 WNIT holds a field of 32 teams, half of its usual 64 due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Every team is guaranteed to play at least twice, either by advancing or playing in a consolation bracket.

The Sun Devils were selected for the NCAA Tournament each year from 2014-2019 under head coach Charli Turner Thorne. The team likely would have been selected in 2020 had the event not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ASU ended the 2020 season ranked No. 25.

This will be ASU's first appearance in the WNIT since 2012 when Joseph Anders served as the interim coach for Turner Thorne at the time (personal leave). 

After ASU's loss to USC in the first round of the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament, Turner Thorne expressed optimism for her team to get a chance to play postseason basketball given the team's abundance of youth. 

"For this team with no experienced players, that'll be a great opportunity for us," Turner Thorne said after ASU's loss to USC on March 3. "It aligns with the calendar of the NCAA Tournament, and we just have to get them to understand what March is about."

ASU and Colorado are the two representatives from the Pac-12 in the WNIT. UA, who is in the NCAA Tournament this year, won the last WNIT in 2019. 

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