Game play doesn’t start until Friday, but this year’s tournament has already had plenty of drama.
The women’s bracket was leaked on ESPNU on Monday a whole four hours before the NCAAW Tournament Selection Show was scheduled to air.
The selection show for the women’s tournament was scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Eastern, but parts of the bracket were shown during the 3 p.m. “Bracketology” show during discussion of the men’s matchups.
Shortly after the leak, ESPN announced they would move the show from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. in attempts to mitigate the damage.
But it was too late. The leak ruined the selection parties, which are a big thing for schools and teams after a long season. Seeing as selection parties are kind of like fun surprise parties, they’re pretty lame if there’s no big reveal.
Players and fans reacted angrily on Twitter, saying this is just another example of women’s sports getting overlooked and disrespected.
So @ESPNU is gonna leak the bracket and then proceed to ruin everyone’s selection show party by changing the time. 😂😂😂 Go ducks am I right 🐥— Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) March 18, 2019
Botched NCAAW tournament reveal…leaked bracket and early show is bullshit— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) March 18, 2019
Am I the only one that is pissed the selections got “leaked” for the women’s tournament!? This would never happen with the men. Also how much money did schools/programs just waste planning a special viewing party for their fans? ALSO the lack of viewership for the actual show.— Natasha Cloud (@T_Cloud4) March 18, 2019
ESPN opens Women’s Selection Show with apology for the error that led to leaked bracket on ESPNU. Really an unparalleled gaffe from a major network. Totally ruined the watch party experience for 60 plus schools today. Embarrassing doesn’t even cut it.— Erik Skopil (@Erik_Skopil) March 18, 2019
This isn’t the first time a bracket has been leaked; three years ago, during the middle of the 2016 selection show for the men’s tournament, an anonymous person released the bracket on Twitter. This wasn’t the fault of the network, which is what makes it different than this year’s leak.
So, about that what that bracket actually looks like.
Since the first time since 2015, there are no undefeated teams in the running.
Notre Dame, Louisville, Baylor and Mississippi State got one seeds.
For the first time since 2006, UConn is a two-seed. But the Huskies have made 11 consecutive Final Fours, which is quite the streak.
Read the whole bracket breakdown on Swish Appeal, and take notes on when and where to watch the games.
Let the madness continue.