NCAA Women's Oversight Committee Eyes March Madness Branding and Tourney Expansion

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After a number of inequalities were outlined and exposed in women's college basketball last season, the NCAA announced Tuesday its plans going forward and what areas it hopes to address.

In the statement, the NCAA says that the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee has been holding regular meetings since the end of the 2020–21 season. 

In those meetings—while they wait for the findings of an external gender equity review—they discussed some major points that could bring significant change this upcoming season. 

The committee outlined two major points of emphasis with the first being branding. The committee intends to work with men's Division I college basketball to create a unified branding strategy for both women's and men's postseasons. This could include the women's NCAA tournament getting the rights to use March Madness in its branding.

The NCAA has long used March Madness to publicize just the men's tournament, but we could see it used across the board in D-I basketball. 

The second point the committee will address is "participation opportunities." There will be conversations on ways to change the women's tournament that include expanding the tournament to 68 teams—the same as the men—instead of 64.

It will also work toward possibly changing the postseason schedule, specifically the Final Four. 

Additionally, the committee hopes to address the lack of support for teams during other postseason events that are not the NCAA tournament. Changes to the recruiting calendar will be explored as well. 

Any rule proposals must be made by a Nov. 1 deadline. 

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