NCAA will pursue two-site regional format for 2023 Tournament

The Oregon Ducks celebrate winning the Portland regional last March. Troy Wayrynen, USA TODAY Sports.
The Oregon Ducks celebrate winning the Portland regional last March. Troy Wayrynen, USA TODAY Sports.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has recommended moving to a two-site, eight-team regional format by the 2023 NCAA Championship, it was announced this week.

The proposal, which would replace the current four-regional format, is supported by the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee. Moving to a two-site format, the Committee noted, would elevate and enhance the student-athlete experience, enhance broadcast coverage, create opportunity for growth of the sport and championship, build the brand of women’s basketball and expand programming targeting strategic plan initiatives that were announced in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Strategic Plan.

An NCAA spokesperson said that the bracket size will remain at 64 teams. The Sweet 16 regional teams – eight per site – will get there by advancing from the first and second rounds to the two regional sites, instead of four teams advancing to four sites.

Final Four participant teams will be decided in two rounds across a four-day span. The NCAA is exploring different game day models.

The next bidding process for the 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 regional sites and the 2025 and 2026 Final Four sites begins Aug. 26. Cities can bid at: ncaa.org/bids.

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