Pac-12 women’s basketball scheduling changes approved by Conference Council
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 announced a pair of women’s basketball scheduling updates on Monday, changes which were approved by the Pac-12 Council following recommendations from the Senior Woman Administrators Committee. The Council is composed of Pac-12 athletic directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletic representatives and student-athlete representatives.
20-game Conference schedule begins in 2022-23
Beginning with the 2022-23 regular season, the women's league schedule will increase to 20 games, with each team playing 10 at home and 10 on the road. The Conference will revert to an 18-game slate for one final time in the upcoming 2021-22 campaign and complete its 10-year rotation with home and road matchups that had initially been scheduled to conclude last season.
“We are constantly evaluating ways to elevate Pac-12 women’s basketball and strengthen the league’s stature,” said Pac-12 Senior Associate Commissioner Teresa Gould. “With the depth of talent in the Conference, adding two quality games to the league schedule will help Pac-12 programs prepare for the rigors of postseason play and support the sustained success of the Conference in the NCAA Tournament. A 20-game Conference schedule will also provide fans of Pac-12 women’s basketball additional opportunities to enjoy meaningful matchups both in person and on television.”
For 2020-21, the Pac-12 announced a 22-game league slate spread over 12 weeks, a double round-robin schedule that was developed to maintain control over scheduling and environment and provide flexibility amid the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2016, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (6), NCAA Tournament wins (70), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.707) and WBCA All-Americans (13). In the first year using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) for women’s basketball, four of the top 10 teams in the final NET rankings for 2021 were from the Pac-12 in national champion STANFORD (No. 1), national runner-up ARIZONA (No. 7), UCLA (No. 8) and OREGON (No. 10). The Pac-12 was also the nation’s top-rated conference by RPI in three of the final five seasons (2016, 2017, 2020) that metric was used by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
Pac-12 Tournament to feature an open date on Saturday
The Council also voted to approve the permanent modification of the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament schedule to feature an open date on Saturday. As was the case for the first time this past season, moving forward the tournament will feature 11 games spread out over five days. Days of competition will be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The 2022 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament, presented by New York Life, is scheduled for March 2-6 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
The decision to amend the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament schedule was made in the interest of student-athlete welfare. With the additional day of late-season rest, teams appearing in the tournament final will no longer have to play three games in three days or four games in four, depending on their seed. The change also provides ESPN additional flexibility when determining a start time for the championship on Sunday.
“After utilizing this schedule for the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, the feedback from our women’s basketball student-athletes was overwhelmingly positive,” Gould said. “Because of their input, the open date on Saturday was made permanent to prioritize rest and recovery of those competing in the championship game.”
To accommodate the earlier start to the Pac-12’s postseason event, the final weekend of Conference play during the regular season will shift to Thursday-Saturday to avoid a quick turnaround for teams playing on the first day of the tournament.
2021-22 Pac-12 matchups
The final season of the Pac-12’s 18-game league calendar will feature the following home and road matchups. Additional details for the 2021-22 Pac-12 women’s basketball schedule will be announced in the coming months.
Home: ARIZ/ASU, COLO, ORE, OSU, UCLA, USC, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Road: ARIZ/ASU, CAL, ORE, OSU, STAN, UCLA, USC, WASH, WSU
Home: CAL/STAN, ARIZ, ASU, COLO, ORE, OSU, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Road: CAL/STAN, COLO, ORE, OSU, UCLA, USC, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Home: COLO/UTAH, CAL, ORE, OSU, STAN, UCLA, USC, WASH, WSU
Road: COLO/UTAH, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, ORE, OSU, STAN, UCLA, USC
Home: ORE/OSU, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, COLO, STAN, UCLA, USC, UTAH
Road: ORE/OSU, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, COLO, STAN, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Home: UCLA/USC, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, COLO, STAN, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Road: UCLA/USC, ARIZ, ASU, COLO, ORE, OSU, UTAH, WASH, WSU
Home: WASH/WSU, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, ORE, OSU, STAN, UCLA, USC
Road: WASH/WSU, ARIZ, ASU, CAL, COLO, STAN, UCLA, USC, UTAH