Columbia, Kansas, UMass, Oregon headline women's NIT field

Columbia, Kansas, UMass and Oregon just missed playing in the women's NCAA tournament as the first four teams out of the field. All four will be part of the 64-team WNIT field that was announced Sunday night.

Other top teams in the field include Bowling Green and Green Bay, which each won 27 games this season. Stephen F. Austin had 26 victories and Ball State 25.

Thirty-five of the teams in the bracket won at least 20 games and 17 of them either won or tied for first in their conference's regular season.

This season's field features 32 automatic qualifiers, which are the next-highest finishers in the conference's regular season that weren't selected for the NCAA tournament. The 32 at-large teams were chosen by WNIT officials.

The first round will be played from Wednesday to Friday this week. The championship game is April 1.

The NCAA is in discussions to host a second women's basketball tournament of its own in the future to create an equitable situation to men's basketball. The NCAA owns the rights to the men's NIT postseason tournament. It does not own the WNIT.