No plan for having men’s and women’s Final Four in same city

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Joel Ayayi #11 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs defends David Singleton #34 of the UCLA Bruins in the Final Four semifinal game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. (Photo by Trevor Brown Jr/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

There won’t be a combined men’s and women’s Final Four in the near future, the NCAA’a Division I basketball committees decided Friday.

The unanimous decision was made during a joint meeting of the committees that concluded several months of exploring the concept of one city hosting a joint Final Four.

Having a combined Final Four was one of the recommendations from a report issued last August stemming from inequities between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

“We are excited about the enhancements that will already be in place for the 2022 championship and Women’s Final Four in Minneapolis for fans and participating student-athletes,” said Duke athletic director Nina King, chair of the women’s basketball committee.

“Before additional modifications are made to the tournament’s format and structure, it is important to us to see, for example, the effect an expanded bracket, the use of March Madness branding, and increased support from corporate partners can have on growing the women’s game and the women’s basketball championship,” she said.

The bidding process for the 2027-2031 Final Fours will begin later this year with the potential to look at holding the men’s and women’s Final Fours on a different weekend.

“In addition to the enhancements already approved, evaluating the possibility of separating the Men’s and Women’s Final Four championships on alternating weekends has tremendous potential,” said Bernadette V. McGlade, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference, current member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and former chair of the Women’s Basketball Committee.

The men’s Final Four this year will be in New Orleans.

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2 thoughts on “No plan for having men’s and women’s Final Four in same city

  1. This isn’t surprising; combining the Final Fours would reduce the number of potential host cities to just 5-6, if that depending on hotel availability and the like. It may have been good for Indianapolis – Indy is one of the few cities that has two tournament-compatible stadiums within walking distance of each other – but it wouldn’t have been good for the NCAA as a whole.