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Women’s basketball: NIT-bound, will host Creighton on St. Paddy's Day

The women’s NIT field was announced late Monday, and NU will be hosting Creighton in the first round Thursday. As I’m posting this, no game time or ticket information is available; I’ll update with that info as soon as it’s released.  EDIT: Game time is 7 p.m. CT, tickets are $8 general admission, free for students. The NU news release is here.

The Creighton Bluejays finished 18-12 overall, 12-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, losing in the quarterfinals of their conference tournament.  The Wildcats (18-13 overall, 6-10 Big Ten) and the Bluejays didn’t play any common opponents, so no basis for comparison there.  Full preview coming Thursday.

The women’s NIT does not use seedings, instead grouping teams into "tiers" of relative strength to assist in filling out the brackets. If the NIT bracket is laid out similarly to the NCAA tournament bracket, Northwestern’s position would appear to be that of a No. 6 seed in its region.  That would make Creighton a No. 11 seed.  But I really have no idea.

Should NU win the game, the Wildcats will face the winner of the Memphis-Alabama matchup. No second round dates or locations have been set yet.


Earlier Monday, senior center Amy Jaeschke was announced as one of 20 finalists for the 2011 Wooden Award, given to the top Division 1 women’s basketball player. She’s the first NU player to be a finalist for the award, which will be announced April 8.

Jaeschke, who averaged 21.6 ppg (ranking 12th in the nation), 9.0 rpg and 3.2 bpg, is also on a slew of other award watch lists. She’s already been named a first-team All-Big Ten selection and a Big Ten All-Defensive team selection.