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NCAA announces changes to women’s tournament scheduling for 2017

Feb 13, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

auriemma AP

After using the Friday-Sunday format for the women’s Final Four from 1996-2002, the NCAA made the move to a Sunday-Tuesday format in 2003. And after more than a decade of that format, the NCAA has decided to go back to the Friday-Sunday format beginning with the 2017 NCAA tournament.

With the combination of this move and the decision to start the women’s tournament a day earlier, on a Friday as opposed to Saturday, the NCAA hopes to boost attendance for the event. According to the Associated Press, last year’s event averaged just 5,466 fans for all rounds.