The NCAA women's basketball tournament is one step closer to equity with the men's, as a proposal to expand the tournament from 64 to 68 teams passed two committees unanimously this week.
The Division I Women's Basketball Committee and Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee each passed the proposal overwhelmingly Thursday. It will now move forward for consideration by governance committees, expected to take place by mid-November.
"(This) vote is yet another step taken toward achieving equity between the two tournaments," Lisa Campos, chair of the Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee and director of athletics at the University of Texas at San Antonio said.
"The women's basketball oversight committee is proud to continue its leadership role in reviewing many of the recommendations from the gender equity report, and we look forward to implementing this format change to positively impact the championship experience for women's basketball."
If the change were to be implemented for the 2021-22 season, the women's version of the "First Four" would take place at the campuses of the top seeds in the tournament. At present, the top 16 seeds host first- and second-round games at their home sites; the additional four teams would play their "first-round" games at those higher seeded venues as well.
Going forward in 2023 and beyond, the opening round would be hosted at a predetermined neutral site, as it's done with the men.
--Field Level Media