The NCAA women's basketball tournament is going back to the future in a move that may ultimately be seen as trading newer controversies for older ones.
The organization announced yesterday that, beginning with the 2009 tournament, the first two rounds will be played at 16 predetermined sites, instead of the eight-team pod system that's been in place since 2005.
The tournament committee also added some flex to its bracket placement procedures so that higher seeds from the same conference could meet each other in a geographic-friendly regional final. For example, Big East rivals Rutgers and Connecticut could meet in the 2009 regional final in Trenton. The change could also allow more teams in earlier rounds to play at sites closer to their fan bases.