Women's basketball will start its run in the Women's NIT against Cincinnati at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Breslin Center.
Cincinnati enters the postseason with a 19-12 overall record and 10-6 in its conference. The Bearcats ended their run in the AAC Tournament in the semifinals, where they fell to UConn, 75-21.
MSU enters the tournament at 17-13 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten. The Spartans fell in the Big Ten Tournament to Indiana in a quadruple overtime show, 111-109.
The Spartans defeated the Bearcats, 103-63, in their last meeting back on Nov. 27, 2015. MSU is 6-0 all-time against Cincinnati, and 4-0 all-time in the first round of the NIT.
Under head coach Suzy Merchant, the Spartans have entered the postseason 10 out of 11 seasons. This will be the first time since 2008 — Merchant's first season at MSU — where the Spartans will head to the WNIT, where they fell in the championship game to Marquette.
MSU has played in the WNIT in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2008, and holds an 11-4 all-time record in the tournament. Overall, the Spartans have now advanced to postseason play 21 times with 16 NCAA appearances and five trips to the WNIT.
Tickets for reserved seats are on sale for $14, while general admission is $10 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. Season ticket holders can purchase their same or a comparable seat location, but must do so before noon Wednesday.
MSU students have free admission into the game.
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