NCAA close to expanding women's field to 68 teams

The NCAA girls’s basketball event is on the subject of increasing its box to 68 groups

Each the Department I girls’s basketball committee and the oversight committee unanimously voted to approve a suggestion so as to add 4 groups to the NCAA Event, beginning this season. The proposal, which was once introduced Thursday, will now advance for attention by way of governance committees. A last choice is anticipated by way of the center of subsequent month.

“The committee’s first precedence is making sure that student-athletes competing in girls’s basketball have a championship revel in this is equitable to males’s basketball,” mentioned Nina King, chair of the Department I Ladies’s Basketball Committee. “Increasing the ladies’s event bracket to 68 groups would in an instant be sure that student-athletes in each males’s and girls’s basketball have an equivalent selection of group alternatives to compete for an NCAA championship every yr.”

The growth of groups was once probably the most suggestions stemming from an exterior assessment of gender fairness problems with the tournaments. The document launched in August was once sparked by way of outrage on the disparities between facilities on the two tourneys, together with weight rooms and different options.

Different suggestions that experience already been mentioned come with exploring a joint Ultimate 4 with the women and men’s basketball tournaments maintaining their semifinals and name video games in the similar town at the similar weekend, regardless that it might no longer occur till no less than 2027 with websites already locked in thru 2026. The NCAA additionally licensed the ladies’s event the usage of the word March Insanity in its branding.

“It’s nice. I in point of fact respect the paintings and dedication to reply in this type of well timed model,” mentioned UCLA trainer Cori Shut, who’s the President of the Ladies’s Basketball Coaches Affiliation. “It’s a significant factor to give you the similar alternative (as the lads) the usage of March Insanity and to have 4 extra groups compete for that have is a big step in the proper path.”

Underneath the proposed 68-team structure for 2022, the opening-round video games of the ladies’s event would happen at 4 of the ones most sensible 16 seeds’ websites. It will exchange to a impartial website going ahead beginning in 2023— very similar to what the lads do.

“These days’s vote is but any other step taken towards reaching fairness between the 2 tournaments,” mentioned Lisa Campos, chair of the Department I Ladies’s Basketball Oversight Committee. “The ladies’s basketball oversight committee is proud to proceed its management position in reviewing lots of the suggestions from the gender fairness document, and we look ahead to imposing this structure exchange to definitely have an effect on the championship revel in for girls’s basketball.”

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Extra AP girls’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Best25

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