The two-time defending OVC regular season champion UT Martin women’s basketball team will participate in the 2021 Preseason WNIT Classic.
Officials with the 2021 Preseason WNIT Classic announced Thursday that a modified field of eight teams will compete in November’s event, with the typical format altered as the collegiate sports world moves past the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For 2021, the Preseason WNIT Classic features two four-team pods and a three-game guarantee, with NC State and Kansas State as hosts. Each site plays a round-robin format, and the final game of the event will have Kansas State playing at NC State on November 19.
No champions will be crowned; each pod will have its own all-tournament team.
UT Martin will play in the Kansas State pod for three games beginning on November 12 with a matchup against the host Wildcats. The Skyhawks will then square off against North Carolina A&T (November 14) and Western Kentucky (November 15) to round out the field.
This is the 27th Preseason WNIT event; the 2020 tournament was cancelled because of COVID-19. Recent champions include Oregon State (2019), Iowa State (2018), Louisville (2017), Notre Dame (2016) and Baylor (2015). The Skyhawks will be making its second appearance in the Preseason WNIT after posting a 2-1 mark in the 2013 event.
“We appreciate these eight programs working through the hurdles of pandemic-era scheduling and bringing their competitive energy to the event,” said Jared Rudiger, executive director of the WNIT. “With the return of the Preseason WNIT, the women’s basketball calendar is starting to look familiar again, and this event will once again be a valuable experience for teams as they prepare for their conference schedules.”
(UTM Sports Information)