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About Ball State:The Ball State women’s basketball team received an invitation to compete in the 2013 Women’s National Invitation Tournament consists of 64 teams. The Cardinals will play at Minnesota Friday at 8 p.m. (EST). Ball State advanced straight to the semifinals as the No. 2 seed in last week’s 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, but lost to No. 3 Akron 70-61. This is the fourth time Ball State has played in the WNIT and the first appearance since the 2007 tournament. Brady Sallee, who is in his first season along with his staff, has done an incredible job of turning around the Cardinals that posted a 9-21 overall record and a 4-12 league mark last season. This season, Ball State owns a 15-15 ledger and 12-4 league record entering the 2013 WNIT. Sallee, named the 11th coach in school history at Ball State in May, is the third coach to guide the Cardinals to a postseason berth in their first year with the Cardinals.
About Minnesota:It will be the second WNIT appearance for the Gophers, with their first coming during the 2006-07 season. That year, the Maroon and Gold defeated Illinois-Chicago, 97-54, at Williams Arena in the opening round, before falling on the road at Western Kentucky, 73-57, in the second round. Minnesota enters this year’s tournament with an 18-13 overall record and concluded the regular-season with a 7-9 Big Ten Conference record, which earned it a No. 8 seed for the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers are one of the top offensive teams in the Big Ten this season, leading the league in field goal percentage with a .444 mark, while also ranking second in scoring offense with a 70.0 points-per-game average.
.Ball State vs. Minnesota:It will be the second meeting all-time between Minnesota and Ball State, with the Cardinals defeating the Gophers, 79-70, in Minnesota’s season-opening game of the 1999-2000 season at the Golden Gopher Classic.
WNIT History:Ball State went 1-1 in 2002 in its first WNIT postseason experience beating Louisville (95-84) and then would fall in the second round to Valparaiso (77-69). In 2003, the Cardinals defeated Indiana State (91-87) and then fell to Missouri (88-77). In Ball State’s last appearance in 2007 the Cardinals fell at home to Kentucky (85-82). Tracy Roller is the only former Ball State head coach to have guided the Cardinals to postseason WNIT play.