Oregon isn't in the big dance, but the Ducks will take the floor for at least one more spin with coach Paul Westhead.

On Monday night, Oregon accepted an invitation to participate in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. The Ducks will play Pacific at 7 p.m. Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Oregon-Pacific winner will play the Hawaii-Washington winner in the second round of the 64-team tournament.

"It's been an interesting group of young women. They've done some terrific things and have probably been slightly undervalued," Westhead said of the 2013-14 Ducks. "We're ready to move on and make a mark."

Oregon finished the regular season 15-15 one year after a 4-27 campaign. The Ducks tied for ninth in the Pac-12 race with a 6-12 mark before falling to Washington State in the opening round of the conference tournament in Seattle.

On March 4, two days before the emotional 107-100 defeat at KeyArena, Oregon announced Westhead's contract would not be renewed for the 2014-15 season when it expires at the end of the month.

"What we're going to differently is leave it all on the floor," sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne said of the team's attitude entering its first postseason tournament in four years. "We know this is the last chance with the coaches and the players we have now."

Oregon leads the NCAA in scoring (93.5 ppg), Chrishae Rowe is the nation's highest-scoring freshman (21.9 ppg) and Alleyne leads the country in rebounding (15.9 rpg).

The Tigers (18-12) finished third in the West Coast Conference and lost to BYU in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

"I want more for our team than just to give our young players experience," Westhead said. "The seniors want victory now. It's a mixed bag."

This will be Oregon's fourth appearance in the WNIT. The program won the championship in 2002 and made its last appearance in 2010, which was Westhead's first season in Eugene.

The Ducks have been practicing every other day since the loss to Washington State. Alleyne described the workouts as "weird" with the Oregon administration in the process of searching for a new head coach.

Pacific will have to prepare for Westhead's up-tempo system on short notice.

"It's really nice to play against a team that doesn't know us. They don't know 'The System,'" Alleyne said. "They know we go fast, but they don't know what it's like until they play us."

Oregon is 13-5 at Matthew Knight Arena, including a sweep of Arizona State and Arizona to end the regular season. Alleyne said the Ducks want to throw another "good going-away party" for seniors Danielle Love, Laura Stanulis, Ariel Thomas and Chynna Miley.

"I'm happy for the way it has worked out so far," Westhead said of Oregon getting to host. "It will probably come down to which team comes in and has a little fire in them."

Washington State will play at Montana and Colorado will host TCU in WNIT games Wednesday, bringing the number of Pac-12 teams in postseason play to nine.

Stanford, California, Oregon State, USC and Arizona State all made the NCAA Tournament field. The Beavers will face Middle Tennessee at 5 p.m. Sunday in Seattle.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @rgduckfootball. Email ryan.thorburn@registerguard.com.

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