THE FLATS - Georgia Tech women's basketball received an at-large bid Monday night to the 2018 Women's National Invitation Tournament, marking the 11th postseason appearance in 12 years for the Jackets. Tech (18-13) will host Bethune-Cookman on Thursday, March 15 at McCamish Pavilion at 7 p.m.
"I am very proud of our team for the fight they showed throughout the season but especially the way we finished," noted head coach MaChelle Joseph. "We are playing our best basketball and have competed at a high level. It is a compliment to our seniors that we are playing in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season. I am proud of the culture that we have established playing in the postseason 11 out of the past 15 seasons."
Tech is making its fourth-straight appearance in the WNIT and its eighth overall. Through seven appearances in the postseason tournament, the Jackets have posted a 12-6 mark, including reaching the championship game last season. In 2017, Tech hosted five opponents in McCamish Pavilion before traveling to meet Michigan in the title game. The Jackets opened the tournament defeating Jacksonville in the first round, followed by a win over UCF to reach the round of 16 where they pocketed a win over MTSU. Tech and Alabama met in the quarterfinals in Atlanta with the Jackets taking a 76-66 victory to reach the semifinals against Washington State. Tech fell in triple overtime to Michigan in the championship game.
The Yellow Jackets won the 1992 NWIT at the Cal Farley Coliseum in Amarillo, Texas, defeating Green Bay Wisconsin, Nebraska and Hawaii. Tech took part in the WNIT/NWIT in 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2015, 2016 and 2017. This is the fourth time under Joseph that the Jackets will play in the WNIT. This is the sixth time that the Yellow Jackets will host a first round game in the WNIT. Tech hosted first round games in 2000, 2002, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The postseason berth marks the 11th appearance in the postseason during Joseph's 15 years as a head coach. Joseph, who is the all-time winningest coach at Georgia Tech, led the Jackets to seven NCAA Tournaments, including six-straight from the years 2007-12. In 2012, the Jackets made school history, advancing to the program's first-ever Sweet 16. Joseph owns a 12-10 record in the postseason and is making her fourth appearance in the WNIT as a head coach.
"Obviously the goal is to make the NCAA Tournament year in and year out, but the WNIT gives us a chance to work to move the needle in our program," added Joseph.
Georgia Tech concluded the 2017 season with an 18-13 overall record after falling to Virginia in the second round of the ACC Tournament. The Jackets posted a 13-3 record at home, including a 5-3 mark in ACC play in McCamish Pavilion. Francesca Pan led the Jackets in scoring averaging 14.3 points per game. Two Jackets picked up ACC honors at the conclusion of the season with Kierra Fletcher being named to the ACC All-Freshman Team and senior Zaire O'Neil earning Sixth Player of the Year accolades. O'Neil became just the second player in program history to earn the award.
First-round action begins Wednesday, March 14 and continues through Friday, March 16. Round 2 games take place March 17-20; Round 3 games are March 21-23, Round 4 runs March 24-26, and the semifinals are March 28-29. The championship game will be held at 3 p.m. ET on March 31, and televised on CBS Sports Network. All games are hosted by participating schools.
Tickets for Thursday night are available at $3 for all fans. Georgia Tech students will receive free admission with their student ID. Courtside seats will be available for $20 with courtside season ticket holders given first right. Season ticket holders can call the Georgia Tech Athletic Ticket Office to reserve their season seat locations for the WNIT first round matchup. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX or through RamblinWreck.com.