NCAA announces creation of Women’s Basketball


The NCAA announced Monday the creation of a new women’s basketball postseason tournament equivalent to the men’s National Invitation Tournament.

Beginning in 2024, 32 teams will be selected for the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament. The tournament will be owned and funded by the NCAA.

According to a press release from the NCAA, more details including selection processes, formatting and host sites will be announced at a later date. With the addition of the WBIT, men’s and women’s basketball will have an equal number of teams (100) eligible each postseason for a NCAA-funded tournament.

“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,” Jamie Boggs, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee chair Jamie Boggs said in the release. “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 Women’s National Invitation Tournament has hosted an independent postseason tournament for non-NCAA tournament teams since 1998. In 2010, the WNIT expanded to 64 teams. The organization released a statement Monday saying it will reduce to 48 teams in 2024.

“Amidst the news of the NCAA launching the new 32-team Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT), the WNIT will continue to be a thriving postseason tournament featuring 48 teams starting in 2024,” the release said.

“The WNIT has consistently demonstrated its unwavering commitment to women’s basketball and its dedication to promoting the sport’s growth and development. With a rich history spanning 25 years, the WNIT’s primary motive has always been to prioritize what is best for women’s basketball, and that unwavering dedication will continue to guide its operations.

“As the tournament moves forward, its commitment to providing a platform for teams and athletes to showcase their skills, fostering competition, and advancing the women’s game will remain unchanged, ensuring a bright and promising future for women’s basketball at the collegiate level.”

Arkansas has competed in the WNIT eight times, and most recently made it to the tournament’s “Great 8” in 2023. The Razorbacks won the tournament in 1999 with a 80-77 victory over Wisconsin. That game recorded the largest women’s basketball crowd (14,163) since the team began playing in Bud Walton Arena in 1993-94.

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