AU Receives Bid and Bye for WNIT

Auburn, Ala.--In 2003, the Auburn women's basketball bounced back from the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament field by winning the WNIT in its first appearance in that postseason event.

After learning that the 2006-2007 Tigers were not invited to the NCAA's Big Dance, on Monday night Coach Nell Fortner's Tigers accepted a spot in the 48-team WNIT field.

Auburn also received a first round bye and will hit the court at 2 p.m. CDT on Sunday with a home game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum against the winner of a first round game on Thursday matching UAB vs. Davidson.

"It was disappointing for us, we would have loved to have been playing in the NCAA Tournament, but we are still going to be playing in the postseason and playing for a championship," Fortner said. "That is the positive that we take away from this. We will play in the WNIT and play to the best of our ability."

The SEC didn't command as much respect as is normally the case from the committee setting the NCAA field with only five teams from AU's league selected--Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Georgia.

"It seems strange to me that only five teams were taken," Fortner said. "I think we are a better conference than that and having the best RPI of all the conferences should be taken into consideration. If it is not, then what is the point of having the RPI.

"Our strength of schedule is good, our RPI is good, so I am not sure how the committee figures it all out, but obviously the decision has been made," Fortner said. "We will take this next opportunity and run with it."

Auburn's 6-7 sophomore center, Keke Carrier, will try to lead the Tigers on a big postseason run.

Auburn has never played Davidson in women's hoops and is 26-4 all-time vs. UAB. Auburn has won the past 12 matchups vs. the Blazers with the last meeting a 76-58 victory in 2002.

In Auburn's only other WNIT appearance the Tigers defeated South Alabama (77-53), Florida State (68-57) and Richmond (59-53) at home and then went on the road to defeat Creighton 73-62 in the semi-finals before winning the championship game at Baylor 64-63.

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