NCAA OKs Change in Women’s Tourney
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Starting in 2003, the NCAA women’s basketball tournament will follow a Saturday-Monday and Sunday-Tuesday format to allow telecasts of all 63 games by ESPN or ESPN2.
The change was approved by the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet during its recent meeting in Philadelphia. The tournament currently has a Friday-Sunday and Saturday-Monday format.
``We wanted to create some better television windows and promotional opportunities for the women’s championship,″ Scott Rodgers, the Division I women’s championship assistant director, said Monday.
``It was an opportunity to get the regionals over a four-day period and the Final Four in a situation where there could be some cross-promotion with the men’s Final Four.″
In 2003, the first and second rounds at each of 16 sites will be televised regionally either on Saturday, March 22, and Monday, March 24, or on Sunday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 25. All the games will be available on pay-per-view.
The regionals will be played over four days instead of two, with two on Saturday, March 29, and Monday, March 31, and two on Sunday, March 30, and Tuesday, April 1. All regional games will be televised live on ESPN.
The four regionals in 2003 will be at Dayton, Ohio (East), Knoxville, Tenn. (Mideast); Albuquerque, N.M. (Midwest); and Stanford, Calif. (West). The Division I Women’s Basketball Committee will decide by next summer which of the 2003 regionals will be played on which dates.
The 2003 women’s Final Four will be played on Sunday, April 6, and Tuesday, April 8, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.