The Wildcats begin their season with a trip to Columbia, Missouri to compete against the Missouri Tigers for the first round of the 2016 Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
Missouri is ranked 24th in the AP Preseason Top-25 poll after going 22-10 last season. The Tigers made it into the NCAA Tournament last year, but lost in the second round against the University of Texas. Mizzou will only have one starter from last year’s team not returning. But will be shorthanded for the beginning of the season, with two of their players still recovering from last year’s season ending injuries.
The Tigers have played two exhibition games, coming away with solid victories in each against Central Missouri, 65-35, and Truman St., 87-53.
The Wildcats come into the season unranked in the Mid-Majors Poll, after finishing last season with a 26-4 record. The Southland Conference Champs got a bid for the WNIT at the end of last season, where they fell to UTEP in the first round. The Wildcats only lost one starter from last season’s squad.
The Wildcats took a trip to Canada in August for some international competition. ACU would beat both the colleges that they played. ACU played a few more closed scrimmages, before their 97-46 exhibition win over McMurry.
Should the Wildcats win against Missouri they will be playing the winner of the Nebraska/UTRGV game. If Nebraska wins in their game, ACU will have to travel to play the Huskers at their home for the next round. But if UTRGV upsets Nebraska, then ACU would more likely than not play host to the Vaqueros.
If the Wildcats lose to Mizzou in the first round, then ACU would be a top pick to host their first round game in the consolation bracket.
Other notable teams in the top-25 that are participating in the Preseason WNIT is Notre Dame, who is ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, and also Washington, who is ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Washington is on the lower part of ACU’s side of the bracket, so the Wildcats would not be seeing them until the semi-finals of the tournament. Notre Dame is on the other side of the bracket, so ACU would not play them unless they reached the championship game.