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NCAA Basketball

5 Ways to Improve NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament

5 Ways to Improve the Women's Tournament

NCAA Womens Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament- Duke-UNC
USA TODAY SPORTS-Kevin Kuo

Selection Monday is almost here and practically no one cares. Despite some recent strides, the NCAA Women's Tournament is light-years away from its male counterpart in terms of popularity. What can close the gap?

5. Move the Date

NCAA Womens Basketball: Conference USA Tournament-Final Southern Miss vs Middle Tennessee State
USA TODAY SPORTS-Evan Pierre Agguire

5. Move the Date

NCAA Womens Basketball: Conference USA Tournament-Final Southern Miss vs Middle Tennessee State
USA TODAY SPORTS-Evan Pierre Agguire

The time between the Super Bowl and the beginning of Spring Training is a dead zone on the sports calendar. A mid-February women's tournament would get a lot more attention.

4. Handicap the Scores

NCAA Womens Basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina
USA TODAY SPORTS-Ellen Ozier

4. Handicap the Scores

NCAA Womens Basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina
USA TODAY SPORTS-Ellen Ozier

There's a point handicap in golf and bowling to make the games more competitive. Do the same thing in the NCAA tournament.

3. Expand the Format

NCAA Womens Basketball: Stanford at UCLA
USA TODAY SPORTS-Kevin Kuo

3. Expand the Format

NCAA Womens Basketball: Stanford at UCLA
USA TODAY SPORTS-Kevin Kuo

Go from 64 to 96 teams, having seeds 9-24 play each other in the first round and giving the top eight seeds a bye. More schools involved means more eyeballs on the screen.

2. Change the Schedule

NCAA Womens Basketball: Boston College at Florida State
USA TODAY SPORTS-Phil Sears

2. Change the Schedule

NCAA Womens Basketball: Boston College at Florida State
USA TODAY SPORTS-Phil Sears

This one goes with changing the date. Instead of games scattered throughout the week, keep all the games on the weekends.

1. Smaller Venues

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Boston College
USA TODAY SPORTS-Bob DeChiara

1. Smaller Venues

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Boston College
USA TODAY SPORTS-Bob DeChiara

See all those empty seats in the background? Play at smaller arenas in places where the sport is popular (Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Connecticut, California) to make the crowds look bigger.