Bradley is making the first postseason appearance in program history following a 16-13 overall record in the regular season. After going 4-6 in non-conference play and dropping its first two Missouri Valley Conference games, the Braves won eight of 10 Valley games en route to a 12-6 league record. Bradley matched a school record with 12 conference victories and tied for third-place in the MVC standings to match the best conference finish in program history.
"We are very excited to have this opportunity to play in the postseason," head coach Paula Buscher said. "In addition to our two seniors getting another chance to play, it also gives our underclassmen the ability to get postseason experience. I'm proud of the way this group persevered through some adversity and happy we are able to continue our season."
The Braves are 37-23 (.617) over the last two seasons after last year's school record 21 victories. Bradley narrowly missed a spot in last year's WNIT field after posting a 21-10 overall record and finishing fourth in the MVC at 11-7 in 2008-09. The Braves will finish consecutive seasons with winning records for the first time since 1985-86 (16-12) and 1986-87 (15-13).
The WBI is a 16-team single elimination tournament. All games will be played on campus sites with first round matchups taking place March 17-18. The Championship game is tentatively scheduled for March 27 or 28. For more information on the WBI visit http://www.womensbasketballinvitational.com/
Wednesday's meeting will the fourth all-time between the two programs but first since the 1997-98 season. Bradley is 2-1 against the Cardinals with both victories at Robertson Memorial Field House. The Cardinals won the first meeting on Dec. 9, 1990 in Louisville (82-77). Bradley won 71-67 on Dec. 21, 1991 at Robertson Memorial Field House and again on Dec. 18, 1997 by the score of 76-67.
Louisville enters Wednesday's game with a 14-17 overall record and tied for 12th in the Big East with a 5-11 conference mark. The Cardinals and Braves have one common opponent in Northern Iowa. Bradley went 1-2 against the Panthers, while Louisville posted an 81-53 victory against UNI in Cancun, Mexico.
The winner of Wednesday's game between Bradley and Louisville will take on the winner of the game between #2 College of Charleston and #7 Morehead State on March 20 or 21.