On Monday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced that the 2021 women’s 64-team basketball tournament will be held at one location. Additionally, the committee has already begun preliminary talks with San Antonio, which was set to host the women’s Final Four, about holding the entire competition.
“Conducting the championship in one geographic region allows for more planning and execution of safeguards that provide potential benefits for promoting the health and safety of student-athletes, the NCAA membership and all individuals involved in the championship,” said Nina King, senior deputy athletic director at Duke and NCAA women’s basketball committee chair. “By making this difficult decision now, it allows for an earlier opportunity to work proactively with local public health officials within the host communities and ensures that the identified guidelines and protocols are considered for a more controlled environment.
“The committee and staff deeply appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences that were slated to host championship play in 2021, especially our predetermined regional hosts in Albany, Austin, Cincinnati and Spokane. We look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”
The University of the Incarnate Word, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and San Antonio Sports will host the women’s Final Four. The committee intends to hold the Final Four in early April, but those dates could be moved if the season is delayed or temporarily halted due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), it’s believed the entire men’s tournament will be held in Indianapolis to mitigate potential COVID-19 spread among players and staff.
Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink.
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