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Women's Basketball Selections 101 - Committee

Meet the committee

Chris Dawson
Committee chair and associate commissioner at the Pac-12 Conference

Dawson’s term began in September 2015. She succeeded Dru Hancock, senior associate commissioner at the Big 12 Conference.

Other committee members include:

  • Rhonda Bennett, senior associate athletics director/SWA, University of Nevada
  • Shonna Brown, executive associate commissioner/SWA, America East Conference
  • DeJuena Chizer, senior associate athletics director/SWA, University of Houston
  • Leslie Claybrook, assistant commissioner, Southeastern Conference
  • Terry Gawlik, senior associate athletic director/SWA, University of Wisconsin
  • Mary Ellen Gillespie, athletics director, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
  • M. Dianne Murphy, university advisor on athletics issues, Columbia University
  • Diane C. Turnham, senior associate athletics director, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Brad Walker, associate commissioner, Ohio Valley Conference

What's the committee's role?

The 10-member NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee is responsible for selecting and seeding the NCAA Tournament. School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference, serve five-year terms and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.

Committee members spend countless hours evaluating teams during the regular season. They are expected to be experts on the teams within their assigned regions while maintaining a broad-based knowledge of Division I basketball.



Committee gathers and begins discussions for the upcoming basketball season, which begins about the same time. Conference assignments are divided among committee members so person can focus on monitoring assigned teams throughout the season.


Committee members meet in Indianapolis for a committee orientation meeting to review the selection, seeding and bracketing technology available to them as well as having a thorough discussion of teams. This is one of many conversations the group will have to offer opinions until they meet in person for selections.

Friday before Selection Monday

The committee arrives in Indianapolis for the beginning of the selection process. For the next four days, the 10 committee members debate, vote, and debate some more until the final bracket of 64 is released on Selection Monday.

Did You Know?

Conference representatives cannot be in the room when teams from their conference are being discussed for inclusion, let alone being allowed to vote for them. Same goes for a school representative, who cannot participate in or vote for their own school.

Committee members are assigned to conferences to monitor play throughout the season.