NCAA 2020-21 Tournament Update

Ignatius L Hoops

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Notable:
At large teams can be under .500,
Teams will be seeded 1 thru 64 with the S curve (no travel considerations because of a one site tournament.
Teams playing fewer than 13 games can apply for a waiver.


With less than two months until Selection Monday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee provided several planning updates for the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

The committee reiterated that a traditional 64-team championship bracket will be in play for the 2021 championship taking place in March and April, with the bracket including automatic qualifiers from all competing Division I conferences, which is currently 31, and the other remaining bids filled by at-large selections. As automatic qualifiers decrease, the committee will increase the number of at-large allocations in order to maintain a 64-team bracket.

To provide ultimate flexibility for teams due to COVID-19, the committee also announced that for the 2020-21 academic year, it would waive the .500 rule, which normally requires teams to have overall won-lost records of .500 or better to be considered for an at-large selection. This is in keeping with the NCAA Competition Oversight Committee recommendation for all fall and winter sports.

With the expected move of the entire championship to one geographic area and the San Antonio region currently under consideration, the committee also decided to remove references to geography in principles for placing teams into the bracket for the 2021 championship only. With that, the 64 teams participating in the 2021 championship will continue to be moved into the bracket by order of the S-curve using seed order. The S-curve ensures that the higher-seeded teams are placed into the bracket against the lower-seeded teams. The committee will still adhere to the bracketing principles that attempt to keep conference teams from meeting until the regional final round.

In a move to add additional team support, the committee also allowed for a three-person increase in the size of the official team travel party (student-athletes, coaches, primary administrator, managers, sports information directors, etc.) for championship participating institutions, pushing the travel party size from 31 to 34 individuals.

“The committee continues to adjust to the circumstances of the current season and feel that decisions reached in regard to the 2021 championship are in the best interest of the championship while ensuring the health and safety of all concerned,” said Nina King, senior deputy athletics director and chief of staff at Duke and chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. “We will continue to protect the integrity of the selection, seeding and bracketing process as we work through any new developments.”

With all schools required to play a minimum of 13 games against other Division I schools during the 2020-21 season to qualify for team selection in the 2021 championship, the committee also announced that from Feb. 8 through Feb. 26 it will be accepting championship eligibility waiver requests from schools unable to reach the 13-game minimum. In addition, schools may count one conference tournament game in which the team participates toward the minimum number of 13 required games. This would apply only to schools that had completed 12 games and were counting on the conference tournament to fulfill the 13-game minimum requirement. After the Feb. 26 deadline, waivers would be considered only if a game scheduled after this date is canceled.

The committee also provided a reminder to members that Friday, Feb. 26, is the deadline for conferences to submit their automatic qualifier requirements for the 2021 championship. In addition, 5 p.m. Eastern time March 14 is the deadline for conferences to forward the name of the team representing their conference as the automatic qualifier. The 64-team bracket for the 2021 championship is scheduled to be announced at 7 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 15, on ESPN
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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San Antonio will host the 64 team NCAA Women's Basketball Championship

San Antonio and the surrounding region will play host to the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

The tournament will feature 64 teams competing from March 21 through April 4 to earn the right to hoist the national championship trophy at the Alamodome, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced Friday.


“We appreciate the historical significance of moving the entire championship to one region and want to acknowledge the work by the Women’s Basketball Committee and staff, our hosts, local organizers and ESPN that has allowed us to make plans for a successful 2021 championship,” said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball.

“We’re fortunate to be working with San Antonio, which features one of the most experienced local organizing committees in the country, and our No. 1 priority is to focus on creating and implementing safety controls in an environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and everyone else associated with the championship.”

“San Antonio was already poised to successfully host the NCAA Women’s Final Four this year, but to bring all 64 teams in this prestigious championship tournament to our city is a remarkable opportunity for our event and hospitality industry,” added San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “I can assure the NCAA and the teams we will deliver the best, safest and most memorable experience possible.”

Six championship rounds featuring 63 games will be played using five venues and six courts in San Antonio, Austin and San Marcos, Texas, with the Alamodome hosting two of those courts. The NCAA is currently in discussions for games to be played at the following venues and schedule: First-round play will take place March 21-22 at the Alamodome, Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary’s (Texas), Frank Erwin Center (Texas), University Events Center (Texas State) and the UTSA Convocation Center. Second-round play will shift entirely to venues in San Antonio, with the Alamodome, Bill Greehey Arena and the UTSA Convocation Center playing host March 23-24. The championship will shift to the Alamodome for all remaining rounds, with the Sweet 16 games played March 27-28, Elite Eight games held March 29-30 and the Women’s Final Four conducted April 2 and 4.
 
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