There will be a postseason for the Fresno State women’s basketball team.
But it likely won’t be the one the team wanted.
The Bulldogs (22-9) probably won’t receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after last week’s semifinal loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West Tournament.
Instead, Fresno State has its sights on the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The school put in a bid to host a first-round game.
The team finds out its postseason fate after the NCAA Tournament and WNIT brackets are announced Monday night. The NCAA will announce its tournament selections at 4 p.m. on ESPN. The WNIT will announce its 64-team field after that.
The Bulldogs last played in the WNIT in 2006 — the year before the Bulldogs started their run of seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
“We obviously didn’t get what we wanted in Las Vegas,” first-year coach Jaime White said. “But now we’ve been presented with another option. The WNIT is a great tournament and has been filled with excitement the past five years.”
The Bulldogs are looking at the postseason with the glass-half-full approach.
“Now we look at our opportunities,” White said. “We want to keep playing, absolutely. We still want to do something that no other team has done.”
While the Bulldogs’ goal at the beginning of the season was to finally win the program’s first game in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s new goal is to win the first national postseason tournament trophy in program history.
In five WNIT appearances, Fresno State is 6-7. Their best finish at the WNIT in recent years was in 2003 when the Bulldogs lost 72-65 in the quarterfinals to runner-up Baylor.
Mountain West Tournament champion Boise State earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Mountain West regular-season champ Colorado State is hoping for an NCAA bid but has a spot guaranteed in the WNIT.