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Pack the house: FIU to host UF in WNIT opening round March 21


The Panthers (19-12) take on the Gators (18-14) Thursday, March 21, when FIU women’s basketball plays University of Florida in the opening round of the 2013 Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). Tip-off will begin at 7 p.m. in the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

This is the second consecutive WNIT bid earned by FIU women’s basketball and comes on the heels of the team’s performance in the recently concluded Sun Belt Conference tournament. FIU advanced to its third-consecutive SBC semifinal before losing, 68-59, to top seed and eventual champion Middle Tennessee.

The Postseason WNIT features 32 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship game which will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network. The event offers 31 automatic berths, one to each established conference, and 33 at-large berths.

Tickets can be purchased at the FIU ticket office, online, or by calling 305-FIUGAME. Admission prices are as follows: students with valid I.D. – $4; youth (2-17 years old) and seniors (55 years and older) – $6; all others – $8.

According to GatorZone, Florida leads the all-times series against FIU, 4-2, while the Panthers hold a 2-1 record in games played at home. The last time the two teams met was Nov. 29, 2009, when the Gators earned a 71-60 victory in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic.

All games in the single-elimination format are played at the main or alternate facilities of participating schools. Dates for each round are as follows:

Round 1: March 20-22
Round 2: March 23-25
Round 3: March 27-29
Quarterfinals: March 30-April 1
Semifinals: April 3-4
Championship: April 6 (3 p.m. ET start)

For complete information on the Postseason WNIT, visit www.womensnit.com.

Fans are encouraged to follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUWBasketball) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUWBasketball) for all the latest FIU women’s basketball news. Follow all of FIU’s 18 athletic teams on Google+ (FIU Athletics), Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).

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