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NCAAW Tournament: What to know, how to watch

Beginning with Selection Monday on March 18, here’s how to keep up with this year’s NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Notre Dame vs Mississippi State
Will Notre Dame hoist the trophy for a second straight year?
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament begins Friday, March 22. With no undefeated teams in the field for the first time since 2015, the tournament feels more wide-open than ever, even if there are some clear front-runners.

Notre Dame has shown it has what it takes to repeat, while fellow projected one-seeds UConn and Baylor are always strong contenders. The 2017 and 2018 national runner-up, Mississippi State, is also in the conversation, as are Oregon, Louisville and Stanford.

A handful of mid-major conferences seem poised to send more than one team, including the West Coast Conference and the Summit League. Although a mid-major team hasn’t won the tournament since Louisiana Tech in 1988, a handful have made deep runs. Last season’s Sweet Sixteen, for example, featured two 11 seeds out of the MAC: Buffalo and Central Michigan.

How can I watch the games?

Want to watch in person? Tickets for the first two rounds can be purchased on the websites of the 16 hosting teams, which will be announced Monday, March 18. Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four tickets can be found on the websites of the hosting arenas, or here.

But if you can’t make it out to see a game, here’s the complete tournament TV schedule, beginning with the selection show:


Selection Monday

When: Monday, March 18, at 7 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN

First round

When: Friday, March 22; Saturday, March 23

Where: Campus sites (teams seeded 1-4 host)

How to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN

Second round

When: Sunday, March 24; Monday, March 25

Where: Campus sites (teams seeded 1-4 host)

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Sweet Sixteen

When: Friday, March 29; Saturday, March 30 (times)

Where: Albany, NY; Chicago, IL; Greensboro, NC; Portland, OR

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Elite Eight

When: Sunday, March 31; Monday, April 1 (times)

Where: Albany, NY; Chicago, IL; Greensboro, NC; Portland, OR

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Final Four

When: Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

How to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN

National Championship

When: Sunday, April 7, at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

How to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN