This week, the NCAA released the results of a study conducted by former WNBA president Val Ackerman, who looked into ways to spark interest in women’s college basketball. Among Ackerman’s recommendations:
●Move the women’s Final Four back to a Friday/Sunday format from its current Sunday/Tuesday format. Ackerman also recommended that the NCAA experiment with the dates of the women’s Final Four, moving it to the weekend after the men’s Final Four or holding it in the same city and on the same weekend as the men’s Final Four, both on a one-time basis, to see if it improves the event’s visibility.
●Reduce the number of NCAA tournament regional sites from four to two, with eight teams in each regional at sites that historically have shown interest in women’s basketball.
●Allow the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament to host first- and second-round games, to improve attendance.
●Re-examine the playing rules to speed up the game, reduce its physical nature and increase scoring.
●Increase efforts to improve officiating.