The Utah women’s basketball team is a casualty of the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Because Utah is a host for the tournament and support staff is unavailable, the Ute women will fly to Long Beach State for the first round of the WNIT. And if Utah wins, it will play the second round on the road, too.
"I’m on my way to the office right now," said Utah coach Anthony Levrets, when asked about his knowledge of the 49ers.
Utah and BYU received invites as at-large teams. The Utes (18-13) finished sixth in the Pac-12, while the Cougars (21-10), who wound up in fourth place among West Coast Conference teams, host Idaho State (18-12). Both games are scheduled for Wednesday. Tipoff for both has not been set.
Long Beach State (16-15) finished fifth in the Big West Conference. It lost in the opening round of its postseason tournament. The Utes were knocked out in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
"We were disappointed when we lost to UCLA," Levrets said. "[But] when I walked into the locker room to say we have to get ready for the WNIT, [Ute center Taryn Wicijowski] cut me off and said, ‘If we’re going to be in the thing then we have to try and win it.’ We’ve had three great practices."
The Cougars lost to Gonzaga in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament. The Cougars are one of three WCC teams to accept a WNIT invite.
"I’m glad the team gets the opportunity to play a post-season game, and get a game in front of our fans," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "Idaho State is a very good team…and are disciplined."
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