The 2021 NCAA DI women's college basketball tournament selection show will be at 7 p.m. Eastern on Monday, March 15, on ESPN. The NCAA bracket will be revealed, which will include all 64 teams playing for a national title.
Here's more on this season, including changes made because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What will be different about the selection process?
- 2021 will be the first year since 1983 that the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) will not be used in the selection process. Instead, the NCAA announced on May 4, 2020, that the this metric will be replaced by the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), which is believed to be a better indicator of a team's strength. Here's a quick guide to how the NET rankings will work in women's college basketball.
- The NCAA announced Jan. 19 some changes to how the field will be picked for the 2021 championship. You can read the full release here. Changes include suspending the .500 rule and waivers for teams unable to play a minimum of 13 games.
How are the teams selected for the bracket?
The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament requires 64 teams to compete in a single-elimination tournament. Those seeds can be earned through automatic or at-large bids.
Traditionally, 32 teams can earn an automatic bid to play in the NCAA tournament. In 2021, 31 teams will earn automatic bids. Each automatic qualifier gets in by winning its Division I conference tournament, regardless of their regular-season performance.
The remaining teams can be selected at an at-large bid to play in the tournament. These are teams that did not win their conference tournament, but earned a championship invite. The invitations are announced on Selection Monday.
How does the committee decide which teams get an at-large bid?
Several stats, rankings and other factors are taken into consideration by the Selection Committee, but there is no set formula that determines whether a team receives an at-large bid or not.
What is the selection committee?
The 10-member Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Committee is made up of athletic directors and conference commissioners. They are responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA tournament.
What happens once the teams are selected?
In a normal season, the final 64 teams are split into one of four regions (East, South, Midwest and West). That puts 16 teams in each region that will be ranked 1 through 16.
The No.1 seed will go up against the No.16 seed. Next, the No.2 seed will go against the No.15 seed, which is the next highest versus the next lowest seed, and so on. Usually, this means that the top teams have the easiest opening matchup in the bracket.
How can you watch the NCAA women's basketball tournament:
NCAA women's basketball tournament games can be found on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
How can you participate in March Madness?
2021 NCAA women's basketball tournament dates, schedule
Specific dates for each regional are TBD.
|ROUND.||DATES. SITE. VENUE||SITE||VENUE|
|Selection Show||Monday, March 15||N/A||N/A|
|First Round (Round of 64)||
|Second Round (Round of 32)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Albany Regional (Sweet 16, Elite Eight)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Austin Regional (Sweet 16, Elite Eight)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Cincinnati Regional (Sweet 16, Elite Eight)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Spokane Regional (Sweet 16, Elite Eight)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
Women's Final Four
|San Antonio, Texas||Alamodome|
NCAA women's basketball tournament: Champions, history
|2020||Not held due to COVID|
|2019||Baylor||82-81||Notre Dame||Tampa, Fla.|
|2018||Notre Dame||61-58||Mississippi State||Columbus, Ohio|
|2017||South Carolina||67-55||Mississippi State||Dallas, Texas|
|2015||UConn||63-53||Notre Dame||Tampa, Fla.|
|2014||UConn||79-58||Notre Dame||Nashville, Tenn.|
|2013||UConn||93-60||Louisville||New Orleans, La.|
|2012||Baylor||80-61||Notre Dame||Denver, Col.|
|2011||Texas A&M||76-70||Notre Dame||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|2010||UConn||53-47||Stanford||San Antonio, Texas|
|2009||UConn||76-54||Louisville||St. Louis, Mo.|
|2006||Maryland||78-75 (OT)||Duke||Boston, Mass.|
|2005||Baylor||84-62||Michigan State||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|2004||UConn||70-61||Tennessee||New Orleans, La.|
|2002||UConn||82-70||Oklahoma||San Antonio, Texas|
|2001||Notre Dame||68-66||Purdue||St. Louis, Mo.|
|1999||Purdue||62-45||Duke||San Jose, Calif.|
|1998||Tennessee||93-75||Louisiana Tech||Kansas City, Mo.|
|1997||Tennessee||68-59||Old Dominion||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|1994||North Carolina||60-59||Louisiana Tech||Richmond, Va.|
|1993||Texas Tech||84-82||Ohio State||Atlanta, Ga.|
|1992||Stanford||78-62||Western Kentucky||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|1991||Tennessee||70-67 (OT)||Virginia||New Orleans, La.|
|1988||Louisiana Tech||56-54||Auburn||Tacoma, Wash.|
|1987||Tennessee||67-44||Louisiana Tech||Austin, Texas|
|1986||Texas||97-81||Southern California||Lexington, Ky.|
|1985||Old Dominion||70-65||Georgia||Austin, Texas|
|1984||Southern California||72-61||Tennessee||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|1983||Southern California||69-67||Louisiana Tech||Norfolk, Va.|
|1982||Louisiana Tech||76-62||Cheyney||Norfolk, Va.|