With eight first-round matchups still to be played today in the Women’s National Invitiation Tournament, Arizona has drawn the second-largest crowd through the 24 games that were played Wednesday and Thursday.
The 3,265 that attended Arizona’s 66-56 win over Idaho State at McKale Center on Thursday night trails only the 3,689 at Arkansas that watched the Razorbacks beat Houston 88-80.
Adia Barnes’ team (19-13) next hosts Pacific on Sunday at 3 p.m. in a Round of 32 game. The Tigers (19-12) won at Fresno State. Only 599 attended that game in Fresno.
Coaches, administration, and alumni throughout our department are showing support for @arizonawbb‼️@ZonaZooOfficial it's your turn! There are now available for tonight's WNIT game! Get in line early and PACK the student section! #BearDown ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/WqtOqH2IdR
Good news for Arizona in terms of continuing to host WNIT games at McKale in case the Wildcats keep winning: New Mexico lost 83-75 at The Pit to Denver last night in front of 2,875. The Lobos were in Arizona’s bracket and would have challenged to host a potential Sweet 16 matchup if they met.
If Arizona gets by Pacific, the Wildcats would face either Denver or Idaho — both teams that had to start on the road in the WNIT first round.
Idaho hosts the game against Denver at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Vandals have averaged only 466 fans a game at home this season while Arizona has averaged 2,265 a game, so the Wildcats look like a strong possibility to host the Sweet 16 round if they get past Pacific.
Aari McDonald – WBCA All-America Region Finalist.
Add another accolade to @AariMcdonald's breakout season‼️
Looking further to a potential Elite Eight appearance, Arizona’s prime competition to host that will be Wyoming, which drew 2,685 fans for its 68-60 win over Northern Colorado last night. Wyoming hosts either Lamar or South Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a Round of 32 game.
On the other side of the bracket is Arkansas, which could face Arizona in the Final Four. In order for Barnes’ team to host in that round, Arizona must draw better than the Razorbacks in the three games leading up to that or hope that Arkansas is upset.
In terms of the opposite side of bracket — of which a team that could potentially face Arizona in the title game if the Wildcats advance that far — Middle Tennessee is the team with the largest draw so far with 1,492 watching its 59-47 win over IUPUI.
First postseason win in 14 years feels good.
Keep in mind, eight first round games are today, five on the opposite bracket from Arizona. We’ll have to see how Arizona’s attendance against Idaho State holds up against those games.
In summary, for now, for Arizona to keep hosting in the WNIT all the way to the title:
— Keep winning, obviously
— Keep drawing better than 3,000
— Hope Arkansas does not draw as well or loses before a potential Final Four matchup.
— Hope Wyoming does not draw as well or loses before a potential Elite Eight matchup.
2019 WNIT FIRST ROUND ATTENDANCE FIGURES
Access full bracket at this link.
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Opposite of Arizona
Opposite of Arizona