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NCAA expands Women’s Basketball Championship bracket to 68 teams in time for March Madness

The decision was made following a recommendation from a gender equity review of NCAA championships.
Credit: AP
A March Madness sticker for the NCAA college basketball tournament is placed on a window in downtown Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — There will be more teams to select for your March Madness bracket.

The Division I Council approved an expansion of the Division I Women's Basketball Championship bracket from 64 to 68 teams, effective with the 2022 championship.

The decision was made following a recommendation from a gender equity review of NCAA championships conducted by Kaplan Hecker & Fink. The review examined historical inequities in college basketball and arose from issues during the 2021 Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.

"This was another important step in providing additional championship participation opportunities for women's basketball student-athletes," said Nina King, chair of the Division I Women's Basketball Committee and director of athletics at Duke. "The committee was in support of implementing this as soon as possible and we're pleased that the expanded championship field will be in play immediately for the upcoming championship and beyond."

The NCAA said the four opening-round games will be conducted on the campuses of teams seeded in the top 16. The last four at-large teams and teams seeded 65 through 68 will compete in opening-round games prior to the start of the first and second rounds of the championship. The championship will culminate at the 2022 Women's Final Four to be played April 1 and 3 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The 68 times that will participate in the 2022 Women’s Championship will be announced on March 13 as part of ESPN selection show.