The NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship committee will meet in Nashville next week to discuss changes that could reshape the way the postseason tournament is presented beginning this season.
Anucha Browne, vice president of the championship committee, said Thursday the group will consider suggestions made by Val Ackerman, the former WNBA President, in a “White Paper” released this week that discussed the state of women’s college basketball.
As it relates to the NCAA Tournament, Ackerman’s ideas include:
* Changing the dates of Final Four games from Sunday-Tuesday to Friday-Sunday
* Allowing the 16 top seeds in the tournament to host first- and second-rounds games, as opposed to picking neutral sites
* Condensing the sub-regionals from four four-team tournaments to two eight-team affairs
* Restructuring the way the 64 teams play down by introducing first-round games that will feature only the last 32 seeded teams.
“At that point, the members of the committee will have a chance to consider those points,” Browne said Thursday. “They will be vetted to determine if there is more factual information we need to collect before moving on. We will do that.”
Browne said one thing that will not change are the sites of the next three Final Fours. But things may change with the dates of the regional preceding them.
“Obviously for the next three years we are locked into Final Four sites. We will be in Nashville, Tampa (2015) and Indianapolis (2016),” she said. “And because we have contracts for these events, if you want to change the day format we may find that those obligations may prohibit that from happening.
“And going to a Friday-Sunday format could have an impact on the dates of the regionals that precede it. It could mean the student/athletes may need to go directly from the sub-regional site to the Final Four site instead of campus. That would cause a trickle affect we need to think about. We might need to change the dates of those regionals, as well.”