Illinois vs. Villanova In Women's Basketball Invitation Tournament Today


Published on April 3 2024 5:57 am
Last Updated on April 3 2024 6:07 am

After earning a No. 4 seed and an at-large bid to the inaugural Women's Basketball Invitation Tournament, the Illini began their tournament run with a come-from-behind win over Missouri State at State Farm Center on March 21. Illinois trailed by as many as 11 but bounced back in the second half to secure a 74-69 first-round win over the Lady Bears.

The Illini then took on Stony Brook, which entered the contest with only two road losses on the season. The Orange and Blue never trailed and advanced to the quarterfinals in dominant fashion, clinching a 79-62 victory on March 24 to earn a spot among the final eight teams in the competition.

Illinois then played its first road game of the tournament, traveling to take on a [3] Tulsa team that had only lost once on its home court all season. That did not faze the Illini, though, as they led by as many as 16 and booked its spot in the WBIT semifinals in Indianapolis with a 69-61 road win over the Golden Hurricane on Thursday night.

Making the quick trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the WBIT semifinals, Illinois took on a Washington State team that had earned a No. 1 seed in the competition.

Unfazed, the Illini led for the final 38 minutes in its 81-58 win over [1] the Cougars on Monday evening, giving the Illini the opportunity to play for a championship today.

About the Opponent

Villanova heads into Wednesday's championship clash contest with a 22-12 record and a 11-7 mark in BIG EAST play during the 2023-24 season.

The No. 4 seed in the 2024 BIG EAST Tournament, the Wildcats fell to No. 5-seeded Marquette in their first game of the competition.

As one of the First Four Out of the NCAA Tournament, Villanova earned a No. 1 seed in the WBIT.

The Wildcats recorded one ranked win during the regular season, a win over No. 22 Marquette, 66-63, on Jan. 17.Villanova's path to the WBIT title game featured three home wins – a 75-60 win over VCU in the first round, a 73-55 victory against Virginia in the second round, and a 67-59 triumph over Saint Joseph's in the quarterfinals – and a 58-53 win over Penn State in the semifinals.

This will be the Wildcats' second game against a Big Ten foe this season, with the lone other meeting coming in the WBIT semifinals in a win over Penn State.
All-Time Series Info

Wednesday's contest will be the second-ever meeting between the two programs. The two sides squared off in Champaign on Dec. 3, 1988, when the Illini defeated the Wildcats, 69-60. This will be Illinois' second contest against a BIG EAST team this season, with the first game dating back to the team's second game of the 2023-24 campaign against Marquette.

Women's Basketball Invitation Tournament

Wednesday, April 3 Schedule (Time Central)


University of Illinois vs. Villanova, 6 p.m.