NCAA women’s tournament back to neutral sites

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.

Follow Doug on Twitter at

http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg