ESPN broadcasts women’s tournament bracket early; see them now!


An early reveal.

A curious thing happened on ESPNU earlier Monday afternoon, hours before the scheduled reveal of the women’s NCAA bracket this evening at 7 PM EST.

We got it early. A source familiar with the final bracket subsequently confirmed to High Post Hoops that the broadcast bracket is the correct one. Here, take a look.

Thanks to another eagle-eyed source, we managed to put together the total picture of the bracket released inadvertently by ESPN.

From that same source, we have the remaining broadcast matchups as well: six seed UCLA against 11 Tennessee, 3 Maryland against 14 Radford in College Park. In Storrs, 7 Rutgers vs 10 Buffalo, 2 UConn vs 15 Towson.

More from NCAA

UPDATE 4:53 PM EST: In a statement, ESPN said the following: “In working with the NCAA to prepare for tonight’s Women’s Selection Special we received the bracket, similar to years past. In the midst of our preparation, the bracket was mistakenly posted on ESPNU. We deeply regret the error and extend our apology to the NCAA and the women’s basketball community. We will conduct a thorough review of our process to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. We will now broadcast the full bracket at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the regularly-scheduled show on ESPN at 7 p.m.”

If these are the correct brackets, many of the most dramatic questions have now been answered. For one thing, it means we know both Central Florida and Tennessee, two of the more debated teams, made the NCAA field. Surprisingly, it means that while UConn gets to play a regional in Albany, it will not do so as the one seed. Instead, Louisville earned the double-edged sword of a one seed… but what will feel like a true road game, should seedings hold, against the Huskies in the Elite Eight.

Princeton’s 11 seed reinforces that the Tigers might have made a great case as an at-large team if they hadn’t beaten Penn for the Ivy League title on Sunday afternoon. Other potentially fascinating first-round matchups include Buffalo and Cierra Dillard against Rutgers for the chance to take on UConn in Storrs, not to mention the always-dangers Florida Gulf Coast University against Miami in a Sunshine State matchup.

Either the finest fake in the history of bracketology has been foisted upon us, or we just got to start March Madness a bit earlier than usual. But as my source for most of this put it: “It’s not wrong. It’s too right to be wrong.”

Here it is in full bracket form, courtesy of our own Blake DuDonis.

UPDATE: the bracket reveal will now be at 5 PM on ESPN2.

Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.