The Bears will have the chance to defend their Women's National Invitational Tournament Championship this year after getting picked as an at-large for the 64 team post-season competition. Cal will face Cal Poly, who automatically qualified for the WNIT out of the Big West conference. The Mustangs finished 18-12 overall and finished in a tie for first in the Big West conference. But losing to UC Davis in the Big West tournament relegated Cal Poly to the NIT. The Bears and the Mustangs share a few common opponents - both teams have beaten Long Beach St. and Cal State Fullerton (Cal Poly twice each) and like Cal the Mustangs lost to Arizona St. in Tempe.
The WNIT places their teams by region, and fellow Pac-10 conference mates Arizona and USC both accepted invites. Former Cal opponents St. Mary's, Yale, and Portland St. also received bids. If the Bears advance past Cal Poly they might end up facing soon-to-be conference foe Colorado, who earned the Big 12's automatic bid. Also, three of the four teams that reached last year's WNIT final four return - the Bears are joined by the Michigan Wolverines and the Illinois St. Redbirds.
The first round game will be held in San Luis Obispo on Thursday night. Game time will be announced tomorrow. You can view the entire bracket here. Go Bears!