January 30, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: March Madness is coming

Missy Heidrick talks with Lisa Peterson of the NCAA DI Women's Basketball Committee

The 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is 50 days away! Lisa Peterson, Chair of the NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Committee joins analyst Missy Heidrick on the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast to discuss the entire process, from how the committee is put together and what is their role, to metrics, the eye test and selection criteria. Lisa explains how coaches and conference leadership are also at the table during the season and many are talking about one common theme – parity in the women’s game.

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First, Lisa explained how the 12-person committee includes representatives from both Power 5 conferences and smaller programs. The first five spots are taken by representatives from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The following seven are a little more complex. Lisa explained the process:

“It’s really based on basketball success. They look at how a conference does in recent years and then it’s determined. There’s different categories of the number of leagues and maybe the ones that are right below the power five and then the ones that are below that. Your conference has to nominate you and they really want people who are going to put in the work and it’s a lot of work as as you said. So the NCAA actually selects and the committee that’s there gets to have input and see you know the folks that have applied for the position or been nominated for the position but the NCAA and all of their committees actually select those folks. So we get 12 members from vast variety of backgrounds and experience in basketball and you know levels at their institutions.”

Lisa Peterson

Those representatives are made up of athletic directors and other administrators from member institutions, but no coaches. She said they are used in a different way.

Lisa also said that the women’s committee has been meeting more with the men’s committee as part of the procedural changes following the 2021 investigation into equality.

The main challenge, she said, is analyzing the teams throughout the season and comparing them on an even plain.

“You have to watch games because, you know, a lot of conferences, they don’t play double round robins, they don’t have equitable schedules. And so you can just go by the numbers, you know, you really have to to pay attention and you know, as you know, who’s coming in and out of your lineup, whether that’s injury, illness, you know, family matters. Whatever that is, it really is who’s available. And who’s available, you know, throughout the season, but then who’s gonna be available when the season is over? We’ve seen a lot of high profile teams who have lost a lot of people, key people to season ending injuries and that does impact when we go into the seeding process.”

Lisa Peterson

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