INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee announced that it will reveal the top-16 teams in seed order three times during the months of January and February, 2017.
The committee, which made top-10 announcements three times last season, will increase the number to include the top-16 this year to correspond with those seeds having the opportunity to host first- and second-round games during the upcoming championship.
“The committee felt that the top-10 announcements were very successful last year in raising awareness and creating conversation around the game,” said Terry Gawlik, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee and senior associate athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “We wanted to continue that this season with the addition of increasing the reveal to include the top-16 seeds.”
The rankings will be announced as part of ESPN2’s Big Monday women’s college basketball telecasts on Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20. On Jan. 23, the Big Monday game will feature Mississippi State at South Carolina at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The top-16 reveal on Monday, Feb. 6 will take place during a Big Monday doubleheader, with Louisville traveling to Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Eastern time, followed by UCLA at Stanford at 9 p.m. Eastern time. The Feb. 20 announcement will be made during ESPN2’s airing of the Maryland at Ohio State game that tips at 7 p.m. Eastern time, followed by Baylor at Texas at 9 p.m.
The three February announcements will have no bearing on the final bracket that will be revealed on Selection Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
The first- and second-rounds of the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be played March 17-20 on the home courts of the top-16 seeds. Regional action will take place March 24-27, with Lexington, Ky. (Rupp Arena) and Oklahoma City, Okla. (Chesapeake Energy Arena) hosting on March 24 and 26, while Bridgeport, Conn. (Webster Bank Arena) and Stockton, Calif. (Stockton Arena) will host regional games on March 25 and 27. The 2017 Women’s Final Four will be played at Dallas’ American Airlines Center on Friday-Sunday, March 31 and April 2. It will be the first time in 14 seasons that the games are played on Friday-Sunday after being played on Sunday-Tuesday beginning in 2003. All games will be aired on an ESPN network.