NCAA extending March Madness name to women’s tournament for first time

The NCAA is using the “March Madness” branding and logo for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship for the first time in 2022.

The move, which was first announced in September 2021, came out of a review of gender equity issues within the NCAA championships.

Both the women’s and men’s tournaments will use the same foundation for their March Madness logos, but additional text will be used where appropriate to differentiate between the two tournaments, which will still operate separately from each other and have their own brackets.

The women’s tournament will also use a modified version of the logo with the diagonal marks below the “M” in “March” and under the word “Madness” shifted to orange.

Those slashes are often eliminated from co-branded logo lockups that include a space for broadcast partner logos below the primary mark. Another difference between the two is that the brackets in the upper right don’t extend into a notch in the black box wrapping the logo.

Neither logo design is truly new for 2022; they’ve both been used in the past despite some reports that the NCAA updated the design across the board.

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The NCAA also switched the men’s tournament Twitter handle to @MarchMadnessMBB (“MBB” for “men’s basketball”) and launched @MarchMadnessWBB for the women’s tourney (“WBB” for “women’s basketball”). Similar changes were made to other social channels.

The handle @MarchMadness is not active on Twitter.

Both tournaments are sharing the hashtag #MarchMadness (at least according to their official social media profiles), but ones such as #FinalFour are getting a “W” added to them for the women’s games (#WFinalFour).

2022 also marks the first year the women’s tournament will have a 68 team field instead of 64. The men’s tournament has had 68 teams since 2011.

The men’s tournament will air on CBS and Turner’s TBS, TNT and TruTV and the women’s games broadcast rights are held by Disney’s ABC and ESPN. Women’s games will air on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews or ABC.

Officially the tournaments are known as the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament but the men’s version has used the March Madness brand for years.

Many of the names used with March Madness are registered trademarks of the NCAA and their use is restricted to official broadcast partners and sponsors with the exception of news reporting.

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