MACON - After a 25-6 (12-2) regular season that saw the Mercer Lady Bears tie for the regular season Southern Conference championship with Chattanooga, Mercer was selected Monday night to play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first round of the Women's NIT.
The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and will be played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Thursday, March 16. Mercer earned an automatic bid into the tournament due to their regular season SoCon championship.
Alabama was 19-13 (5-11 Southeastern Conference) and won a couple of games in the SEC tournament before losing to Kentucky in the quarterfinals.
Mercer also advanced to the SoCon tournament championship, but came up short against Chattanooga, 61-59. Chattanooga was named as the No. 13 seed in the Oklahoma City region and will take on No. 4-seed Louisville on Saturday.
Mercer's 25 wins this season is a team record for wins in the NCAA era. The 2016-2017 season is also the second time the Lady Bears have won back-to-back regular season conference titles. The team won the NSWAC in 1991 and then took home the TAAC regular season title in 1992.
This was the first time in the NCAA era Mercer has had more than 20 wins in a season three years in a row. This season was also the fourth time in five years the Lady Bears have reached the 20-win plateau.
This is Mercer's third straight appearance in the postseason tournament and the second straight season they have received an automatic bid.
Last season, Mercer played Georgia Tech in the first round and lost, 73-56.
In 2016, South Dakota won the WNIT over Florida Gulf Coast University, 71-65. This year's championship game will be on April 3 and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
For those making the trip to Tuscaloosa for the game, tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.
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