Nine Division I Texas women's basketball programs played postseason basketball this year—two in the NCAA Tournament, and seven more in the WNIT. But after one weekend of postseason basketball, just one Texas team remains standing: Texas Tech, which advanced to the WNIT Super 16 following wins over UTEP and SMU. Now, the Red Raiders have a date with Arkansas on Friday for a spot in the Great 8.
Let's take a look back at the eight teams that fell out of the postseason, then a look ahead at Tech's quest for a WNIT title.
The eight teams that lost last weekend
The Longhorns made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but the offense just completely fell apart against Louisville, as Texas tied its season low of 51 points—a number it initially set in the Big 12 championship loss to Iowa State. Rori Harmon shot 36.4 percent in the loss. Vic Schaefer's had Texas playing some really good defense, but something's got to be figured out offensively going forward if this program wants to contend for national championships.
A year of adversity for Baylor ended in a second round loss to UConn, but the Bears fought hard during the tournament, mounting a huge comeback against Alabama and then hanging close for awhile with UConn. Nicki Collen's team has some good pieces, and if they can get a little more depth to round out the roster then the Bears could be fighting for the Big 12 title again next year.
Rice really was a fascinating team this year. Dominated in non-conference play, fell off at the beginning of conference play as they lost four of their first five Conference USA games, then turned things back around the rest of the season, losing just four more times before Monday night's 25-point loss to Oregon. The team will have to replace some key seniors next year, but a foundation of Malia Fisher and Jazzy Owens-Barnett is something you can build on.
Like Rice, SMU got a win in the first round of the WNIT, then fell by double-digits in the second game, taking down Little Rock by 26 then losing to Texas Tech by 12. The Mustangs will also need to replace some seniors like Jasmine Smith and Savannah Wilkinson, but there was some good growth here, as SMU finished over .500 for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
Stephen F. Austin
Aiyana Johnson's college career ended with a 23-point loss to Arkansas that saw the Ladyjacks score 37 points. Their worst total before that? 59 points. The good news is that while Johnson's gone, most of this roster is underclassmen, and Zya Nugent should be back after missing this season with a knee injury.
With Katia Gallegos gone to Tulsa, the 2022-23 season seemed like it could have been a rebuilding year for UTEP. Instead, the Miners won 20 games for the first time since 2016. The addition of former UNT teammates N'Yah Boyd and Jazion Jackson sparked this team, and the Miners finished with the second-best net rating in conference play of any CUSA team.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
The Islanders won the Southland in the season that was cut short by COVID, then plummeted to 4-12 against Division I opponents the next season. But the turnaround came fast, as they won 14 Southland games for the second season in a row. If Alecia Westbrook uses her COVID year and returns to Corpus, this team could be in the NCAA Tournament next season. Hopefully that's the case—after her great career with the Islanders, it'd be a shame if it ends with a 34-point loss to Wyoming.
Great season for the Bobcats, as Zenarae Antoine won Sun Belt Coach of the Year and the team returned to the postseason for the first time since the 2018 WNIT. Da'Nasia Hood and Kennedy Taylor got to close their five seasons in San Marcos with a postseason appearance, but now the question becomes how the Bobcats will reload after losing those two pillars.
Can Texas Tech win the WNIT?
Now, onto the one Texas team left standing: Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders hired Krista Gerlich back in 2020, and she didn't have much time to prep for her first season. Tech went 10-15 that year, then 11-19 last season.
But this year, everything's started to come together. Led by Bre'Amber Scott, Texas Tech has won 20 games now after wins over UTEP and SMU to begin the WNIT. Next up is a date with Arkansas on Friday in Fayetteville.
That game will be the team's biggest test of the WNIT by far, as the Razorbacks are always a difficult team to beat. The Razorbacks weren't as good offensively as usual this year, but they still ended up 51st in scoring offense and it'll be tough for a Red Raiders squad that's 172nd in defensive rating to slow down this fast-paced Arkansas team.
Her Hoop Stats' matchup predictions give Arkansas an 81.3 percent chance of winning this game on its home floor. But even if this is the end of the line, making a Super 16 appearance is a real win for this Tech program. Bailey Maupin getting some postseason experience as a freshman should be really important for her future growth, and if she can turn into a No. 1 option on this team then Tech could soon find itself back in the NCAA Tournament, somewhere it hasn't been since the 2012-13 season.
Tech and Arkansas play Friday night at 7 p.m., with the game broadcast on SEC Network+. The winner of that game moves on to play the winner of Nebraska/Kansas.