basketball-women-d1 flag | March 29, 2023

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee names game officials for 2023 Women’s Final Four

Women's Final Four host cities named through 2031

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has approved the 11 game officials recommended by Penny Davis, the national coordinator of officiating, to work Friday’s two national semifinal games and Sunday’s national championship game. A three-person crew will work each Women’s Final Four game, while two officials will serve as the standby officials for all three contests. 

The NCAA has notified these 11 individuals that they have been selected to work the 2023 Women’s Final Four, which will be played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas:

  • Tiffany Bird, Bountiful, Utah;
  • Gina Cross, Clearwater, Florida;
  • Tiara Cruse, New York, New York;
  • Maj Forsberg, Hørsholm, Denmark;
  • Lisa Jones, Chandler, Arizona;
  • Dee Kantner, Charlotte, North Carolina;
  • Katie Lukanich, Denver, Colorado;
  • Michol Murray, Chandler, Arizona;
  • Brenda Pantoja, Las Vegas, Nevada;
  • Pualani Spurlock-Welsh, Greenville, Pennsylvania;
  • Angelica Suffren, Atlanta, Georgia.

“It’s an honor to recommend these 11 officials to work the assignments this final weekend in what has proven to be a historic championship on many fronts. For decades, past and current conference coordinators and officiating leaders have worked to develop a talent bank of officials capable of working at the highest level. To have a strong pool of qualified officials to choose from that enabled the selection of 11 women to officiate these final games during the 50th anniversary celebration of Title IX is epic. We celebrate this accomplishment with all of those who paved a way and broken barriers as we play our role in growing this great game.”

These officials have a combined 293 seasons of Division I officiating experience, 48 Final Four/Championship assignments, along with nine of the women having played collegiate basketball, 7 at the Division I level. 

“I hope that the student-athletes and fans see these women as an inspiration and the opportunity to contribute to the game through officiating.”

FULL SCHEDULE: 2023 March Madness dates, times 

Kantner will be officiating her 26th Women’s Final Four, while Jones has been selected for an 11th time. This year will mark seven selections for Pantoja. Forsberg was selected for a sixth year, while it will be the fourth time for Cross and Murray. Spurlock-Welsh will officiate in her third Women’s Final Four and Suffren and Bird were selected for a second time. This will be the first Women’s Final Four for Lukanich and Cruse. Nine of the 11 officials are former collegiate women’s basketball student-athletes.

Friday’s first semifinal features the Greenville 2 regional champion and three seed LSU facing off with No. 1 seed and Seattle 3 regional champion Virginia Tech. It is Virginia Tech’s first appearance in the Women’s Final Four, while LSU will be making its 6th, but for the first time since 2008. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. central time. 

The second semifinal game, which is scheduled to tip at 8:30 p.m., will feature overall No. 1 seed, Greenville 1 regional champion and defending national champion South Carolina against No. 2 seed and Seattle 4 regional champion Iowa. The game will mark a third straight, and overall fifth, appearance for South Carolina. It will be Iowa’s second ever Final Four and first since 1993. Both games will be shown on ESPN.

The officiating assignments for each semifinal game, as well as Sunday afternoon’s national championship game, will be announced three hours before each game.

MARCH MADNESS: Scores | Bracket Schedule 

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