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Women's Basketball Selections 101 - Committee

Meet the Committee

Rhonda Lundin Bennett

Division I Women’s Basketball Committee chair and senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator, University of Nevada, Reno

Bennett’s committee term began in 2014. She succeeded Terry Gawlik, senior associate director of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as chair on Sept. 1, 2017.

Other Committee Members Include:

  • Ceal Barry, deputy athletics director, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Ken Bothof, director of athletics, Northern Kentucky University
  • DeJuena Chizer, senior associate athletics director/SWA, University of Houston
  • Leslie Claybrook, assistant commissioner, Southeastern Conference
  • Nina King, senior deputy director of athletics, Duke University
  • Tamica Smith Jones, director of athletics, University of California, Riverside
  • Teresa Phillips, director of athletics, Tennessee State University
  • Deborah Richardson, senior associate commissioner, Atlantic 10 Conference
  • Diane C. Turnham, senior associate athletics director, Middle Tennessee State University

What's the Committee's Role?

The 10-member NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting the 32 best at-large teams for the championship and seeding the 64-team field that will be participating in 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.

Timeline

June

The committee summer meeting allows for discussions related to the upcoming basketball season, which begins in November. Championship policy decisions are made during this time. Meetings with stakeholders take place, and primary/secondary conference assignments are divided among committee members so each person can focus on monitoring assigned teams throughout the season.

November

The committee gathers and begins discussions for the basketball season just tipping off.

January

Committee members gather at the site of the NCAA Convention to begin in-depth team discussions.  Members come out of this meeting with a lengthy list of teams to monitor more closely over the final two months of the season.

February

The committee will provide an announcement of the top 16 for the first time Feb. 11, with the announcement taking place at halftime of the South Carolina vs. UConn game on ESPN2 that tips off at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Teams will be announced in top-16 seed order and by regional assignment as of that date. The early announcement will have no bearing on the final selection taking place on Selection Monday, March 18.

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

March

The committee will provide an announcement of the top 16 for the second time March 4, with the announcement taking place at halftime of the UConn vs. South Florida game on ESPN2 that tips off at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Teams will be announced in top-16 seed order and by regional assignment as of that date. The early announcement will have no bearing on the final selection taking place on Selection Monday, March 18.

Thursday Before Selection Monday

The committee arrives in Indianapolis for the beginning of the selection process. For the next five 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 “primary” and “secondary” conferences to monitor throughout the season.