Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin (This content was originally published in our newsletter)
JMU barely missed the Big Dance – The Dukes were just the second team left out of the NCAA Tournament field. Regardless of how close it came, JMU fell short. A home WNIT game awaits as the Dukes earned a No. 1 seed in the second-best postseason tournament.
Injuries – Winning the WNIT is hard, and it’s even harder when Kamiah Smalls and Lexie Barrier are still limited. Both are expected to miss tonight’s opening-round game against NC A&T. Smalls may come back later in the tournament if JMU advances, per the DNR’s Shane Mettlen.
The road – JMU opens the tournament with NC A&T before getting the winner of South Florida and Stetson. Potential third-round battles with either VCU or Virginia Tech loom, but JMU has its hands full getting there with an injured lineup. Here’s JMU’s side of the bracket:
Expectations – NC A&T (20-11) is beatable, but it’s going to be difficult to advance deep into the tournament without Kamiah Smalls and Lexie Barrier. South Florida is a particularly scary second-round matchup.