The first of three NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee top 16 reveals will take place during next week’s ESPN2 Big Monday women’s college basketball telecast of the Mississippi State vs. South Carolina game that will air at 7 p.m. ET. The top 16 will be provided in rank order.
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.
Additional reveals of the top 16 will take place Monday, Feb. 6, during a Big Monday doubleheader, with Louisville traveling to Notre Dame at 7 p.m. ET, followed by UCLA at Stanford at 9 p.m. The Feb. 20 announcement will be made during ESPN2’s airing of the Maryland game at Ohio State that tips at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Baylor at Texas at 9 p.m..
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“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 athletics 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 three announcements will have no bearing on the final bracket that will be revealed on Selection Monday at 7 p.m. ET March 13 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, Kentucky (Rupp Arena), and Oklahoma City (Chesapeake Energy Arena) hosting March 24 and 26, while Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena), and Stockton, California (Stockton Arena), will host regional games March 25 and 27. The 2017 Women’s Final Four will be played March 31 and April 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. It will be the first time in 14 seasons that the games are played Friday and Sunday after being played Sunday and Tuesday beginning in 2003. All games will be aired on an ESPN network.