July 15, 2023

NCAA women's basketball committee discusses possible expansion of 68-team field, nothing imminent

The NCAA is exploring ways to promote the growth of women’s college basketball. - Pixabay

The NCAA is exploring ways to promote the growth of women’s college basketball.

Pixabay

The NCAA is exploring ways to promote the growth of women's college basketball, including possible expansion of the 68-team tournament that determines the sport's national champion each season.

While there are no imminent plans to increase the number of schools included in March Madness, the Division I women's basketball committee does want to build on the success of the tournament, which is growing in popularity.

Talks this week during the committee's summer meeting in Savannah, Georgia, follow the announcement in January of the creation of a 32-team postseason invitation tournament for women's basketball starting in 2024.

The new event will increase the number of NCAA-funded postseason opportunities for women's basketball teams from 68 to 100 — same as for men's basketball, which has the 68-team NCAA tournament and 32-team National Invitation Tournament.

"The committee and staff will continue to study options, meet with stakeholders and review the many championship models to make an informed decision that's in the best interests of the championship, though we are not there currently in regard to expanding the NCAA tournament field beyond 68 teams," Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women's basketball, said.

The women's NCAA tournament last expanded in 2022, going from 64 to 68 teams. The men's Division I basketball program has also discussed the possibility of expanding its field, however nothing is imminent.
 

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