Thanks to a new move by the NCAA, more women’s college basketball programs than ever will get a chance to compete in the postseason.
The organization has announced the creation of the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament. The 32-team postseason tournament, which will be owned and funded by the NCAA, will be held annually beginning in 2024.
A total of 100 postseason opportunities will be available for Division I women’s basketball teams, equal to that of men’s basketball through its two events (the 68-team championship and 32-team National Invitation Tournament) with the creation of the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament. Details about the tournament’s format — including the selection process, bracketing principles and host sites — will be released later.
“Women’s basketball is at an all-time high with records being set for national championship and Final Four viewership, and the tournament was the most viewed since 2009,” said Jamie Boggs, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and vice president of athletics for Grand Canyon. “This tournament will create an additional NCAA-funded postseason opportunity for women’s basketball, and it comes at a time when we are seeing tremendous growth in popularity for women’s basketball.”
The NCAA also released branding for the tournament, which continues to highlight orange in alignment with other NCAA women’s basketball branding, including the March Madness logo. The WBIT logo — which is inspired by a backboard and net — also will feature blue to tie in to the NCAA’s primary branding.
Last season Jackson State was invited to the Women’s NIT while Southern University and Norfolk State went to The Big Dance.