The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team will go on the road and face Memphis on Thursday in the first round of the Women's NIT. The 64-team field was announced late Monday night and a time for the game at Elma Roane Fieldhouse has not been set.
The Lady Mocs (22-9) are returning to the postseason after missing it last season for the first time since the 1998-99 season, coach Wes Moore's first season at UTC. The program's last WNIT appearance was in 2009, when UTC lost 81-76 at Kentucky in the first round.
UTC ordinarily would have put in a bid to host a game, but McKenzie Arena isn't available this week because the Ringling Brothers Circus is using the facility. Moore said Monday that the earliest UTC could host a game would be the third round.
The winner of Thursday's game will face the winner of Missouri-Kansas City at Missouri.
According to the UTC media guide, the Lady Mocs and Memphis (24-7) have not met since 1981 and UTC is 2-3 all-time against the Tigers. Both teams beat UAB (Memphis twice) and Belmont during the regular season. The Lady Mocs' RPI ranking is 59, while Memphis' is 80.
The Lady Mocs are one of three Southern Conference teams in the field, joining co-champions Davidson and Appalachian State. Davidson received the league's automatic bid and plays at James Madison, while the Mountaineers visit UNC Wilmington.
Samford, the SoCon tournament champions, will face Duke on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
For more Mocs coverage, see tomorrow's Times Free Press. You can also follow beat writer John Frierson on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.