The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee selected South Carolina (29-2), Stanford (28-3), NC State (29-3), and Louisville (25-4) as the No. 1 seeds across four regions for this season’s national championship tournament.
“We’ve got 12 awesome committee members that have really worked hard all day and all night since Wednesday, and we’re really proud of the bracket that we put out today,” said NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee chair.
This year marks the first time the field includes 68 teams, an increase of four from previous seasons. Thirty-two conferences earned automatic bids, and the remaining 36 teams were selected at large.
When asked about the decision’s the committee makes to maintain a competitive balance especially given that UConn, a No. 2 seed that finished 25-5, was placed close to their home in the Bridgeport region, King cited several factors.
“First and foremost, we start with the S-curve, and then we’ve got bracketing principles that we follow, so make sure that any conflicts are avoided, same conference match-ups, for example, in the first or second rounds, or games that have already happened between teams this year. A variety of conflicts we’re trying to avoid.”
“Then we take into account fan experience, student athlete welfare, modes of transportation, whether it’s a drive or a fly,” she continued. “There’s a variety of things that we certainly take into account and have a lot of discussion around, and certainly UConn and Bridgeport was one of those that we spent a lot of time on insuring that we got it right.”
The first four games of the tournament will be played Wednesday, March 16, and Thursday, March 17, at four of the top 16 host sites. The first- and second-round games will be played Friday, March 18, through Monday, March 21, at the top 16 seeds.
Regional games are set for March 25-28 at the following locations:
- March 25 and 27
Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum)
Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena)
- March 26 and 28
Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena)
Wichita, Kansas (Intrust Bank Arena)
The Target Center in Minneapolis is the site of the 2022 Women’s Final Four, April 1 and 3.