Postseason for NCAA men's and women's basketball is officially underway. With Selection Sunday a thing of the past and teams officially getting their seeding, it's time to dive into who will be representing Australia in the quest for a championship.
In this two-part series, we're starting with the Women's NIT. The WNIT is a NCAA Division 1 postseason tournament for teams who weren't selected for the Big Dance. There are a lot of rules for qualifications and teams who receive bids are allowed to opt out of play which opens up a spot for another team to slide in. For more information on how WNIT berths work, check out their website.
Although the WNIT is not the postseason play teams necessarily want to be in, it's another great and viable option to go for a championship and extend the season. Some teams who won the championship went on to make it to the Big Dance like Arizona did in 2021, where they eventually lost to Stanford in the championship in San Antonio, Texas.
The WNIT is always a great tournament to watch no matter if your team is playing in it. But never fear, plenty of Aussies will be represented in this tournament so there are a lot of choices on who to root for.
Note: All stats are represented from the regular season/conference tournaments.
Albany (22-11, 14-2 AEC)
Taylor Moffat (SA): The freshman guard appeared in eight games.
Bowling Green (27-6, 14-4 MAC)
Elissa Brett (SA): The senior guard had a stellar season for BGSU. She was named to the All-MAC First Team, MAC All-Tournament Team, MAC-Defensive Team, and was the squad's first all-conference selection in nine years. She's currently averaging 14.5 points and six rebounds per game.
Jasmine Fearne (QLD): The freshman guard appeared in 17 games and averaged 2.3 points per game.
Clemson (17-15, 7-11 ACC)
Hannah Hank (SA): The senior guard started in all 32 games this season averaging 5.8 points per game.
Columbia (23-5, 12-2 Ivy)
Kitty Henderson (NSW): The sophomore guard built on her freshman season, posting career-high averages in nearly all statistical categories. She averaged 9.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game.
Drexel (21-9, 13-5 CAA)
Chloe Hodges (SA): The junior forward returned from injury and appeared in 28 games. She averaged career highs with 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Fordham (18-12, 10-6 A-10)
Matilda Flood (NSW): The junior guard had a career year even if her scoring and rebounding statistics only reached 0.1/0.2 more than her freshman year. She averaged 2.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists off the bench.
Rose Nelson (NSW): The freshman forward played sparingly off the bench, averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game.
Kansas State (17-16, 5-13 Big 12)
Rebekah Dallinger (NSW): The junior guard played sporadic minutes throughout the season off the bench. She averaged 1.5 points and 1.0 rebound per game.
Long Beach State (23-9, 17-3 Big West)
Casey Valenti Paea (VIC): The Buffalo transfer did not appear in any games this season.
Courtney Murphy (QLD): The Seattle transfer played well in her first season at LBSU. The senior guard averaged 5.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
Missouri (17-13, 6-10 SEC)
Sara-Rose Smith (VIC): The junior guard completely upped her season with the Tigers, improving on every single statistical category by a landslide. She averaged 6.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while also recording five double-doubles.
Nebraska (16-14, 8-10 Big 10)
Jaz Shelley (VIC): The junior guard keeps getting better in her second year with the Huskers. She increased her scoring and assists averages with 14.6 points and 6.1 assists per game. She was also a nominee for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award but did not make it to the final five.
Isabelle Bourne (ACT): The junior forward continues to excel at Nebraska. She was named an All-Big 10 Honorable Mention while posting averages of 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
North Dakota State (18-11, 12-6 Summit)
Leah Mackenzie (VIC): The freshman guard did not appear in any games for NDSU.
Georgia Baldwin (VIC): The Eastern Kentucky transfer played sparingly in her first season Bison. The junior forward averaged 0.8 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.
Oregon (17-14, 11-4 Pac-12)
Ahlise Hurst (VIC): The fifth year guard found her role slashed this season. She averaged 3.8 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.
Saint Joseph's (20-10, 9-7 A-10)
Emirson Devenie (VIC): The freshman guard appeared in only six games but showed flashes of scoring promise. She averaged 4.2 points per game.
San Francisco (19-12, 9-9 WCC)
Jessica McDowell-White (QLD): The senior guard started and played in 31 games this season. She averaged a career high six points per game along with 3.3 rebounds, and four assists.
Amy Baum (VIC): The graduate guard made her move from Division 2 Hawaii Pacific to Division 1 this season. She averaged 2.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
SMU (16-12, 7-8 American)
Paige Bayliss (QLD): The graduate centre hasn't appeared in a game since February 26 against Memphis. This season she averaged 2.5 points and two rebounds per game.
Ella Brow (QLD): The freshman guard had a solid debut season for the Mustangs. She averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
Syracuse (18-12, 9-9 ACC)
Georgia Woolley (QLD): The Buffalo transfer followed her head coach to Syracuse and did not disappoint. The sophomore guard averaged 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and a hair under 2.1 steals per game.
Texas Tech (18-14, 6-12 Big 12)
Ella Tofaeono (NSW): The senior centre posted career lows in her second season with the Red Raiders. She averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Washington (15-14, 7-11 Pac-12)
Darcy Rees (SA): Throughout her tenure with the Huskies, her playing time and role has diminished. The senior centre did up her statistics from last season, averaging 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Wake Forest (16-16, 5-13 ACC)
Kate Deeble (QLD): The freshman only appeared in five games, averaging 1.7 points.
Wichita State (18-14, 6-10 American)
Ambah Kowcun (SA): The junior guard played mostly off the bench but in the four games she started in conference play, she hit a career high 22 points in the first one against Cincinnati. She averaged 4.7 points and 1.0 rebound per game.
Wyoming (22-10, 13-5 MWC):
Tess Barnes (VIC): The sophomore guard/forward upped her game in her second season in Laramie. She held a pivotal role off the bench, averaging 4.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game which are all career highs.
Grace Ellis (QLD): The junior guard took her new role in the starting lineup and ran with it. She averaged career highs in every single statistical category with 9.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.
Hopefully this guide helps in your venture to WNIT viewership, which begins on Thursday, March 16 from 10am AEDT with Nebraska v Missouri State and Syracuse v Kent State kicking off proceedings.
Stay tuned for Edge of the Crowd's NCAA women's March Madness guide to be released shortly also.
Before you move on, why not give our Facebook page a like here. Or give our Twitter account a follow to keep up with our work here.