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NCAA women's tournament back to neutral sites

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NEW YORK (AP)

The NCAA women's basketball regionals are going back to neutral sites.

The championship committee announced Wednesday that Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Greensboro and Albany will host the 2015 regionals. The committee received criticism this Fall from some coaches about the move to have regionals on campus for this season's tournament.

''The committee heard the concerns from the coaching community in protecting neutrality at the regional rounds and acted accordingly,'' said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president, women's basketball championships. ''In looking for ways to improve the student-athlete experience, the committee felt a move to neutral regional sites was in the best interest of the championship.''

Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Nebraska will host games in March with the chance to go to the Final Four on the line.

''I'm so pleased to see the committee recognize the importance of neutral sites in order to preserve the integrity of the tournament,'' Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. ''I believe they are as happy as the coaches are that we will be able to play on neutral courts for the regionals moving forward.''

The first two rounds in 2015 again will be played on campus sites with the top 16 seeded teams in the tournament hosting the sub-regionals.

The Final Four will be in Tampa. There was talk of trying to move it up two days to a Friday-Sunday format, but while still possible it is unlikely that it will occur in 2015.

Sites for the Division II and Division III Final Fours were also unveiled. The possibility remains that all three levels may play their championship games in Indianapolis in 2016 over the same weekend.

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