FACT CHECK: Harris Claims NCAA Did Now Allow A Bracket For Women’s Tournaments Until 2022

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

Vice President Kamala Harris recently claimed the NCAA did not allow brackets in women’s basketball tournaments until 2022.

Verdict: Misleading

The claim is inaccurate. NCAA women’s Division I basketball tournaments have used a bracket-oriented format since 1982.

Fact Check:

Harris commented on a recent phone call she and President Joe Biden had with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Times of Israel reported. Harris claimed that Israel must change its approach in the conflict with Gaza, adding that if they don’t, “it’s very likely we’re going to change our approach.”

The Republican National Committee shared a video of Harris on X, formerly known as Twitter, in which she claimed that brackets were not allowed in Women’s tournaments until recently. In the video, Harris faces a reporter while speaking in front of an American flag.

She said, “OK a bit of a history lesson. Do you know that the women’s teams were not allowed to have a bracket until 2022?”

The claim is inaccurate. Harris shared a post of her filled out bracket in 2021 while she was Vice President. She and her husband shared images of their bracket on X at the time.

Mediaite reported that Harris did tell them she misspoke and meant to say that they were not allowed to use “March Madness” branding. This is accurate. In 2022 women’s Division 1 championship was allowed to use March Madness branding, according to The Athletic.

“She misspoke. She was referring to the fact that NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ branding strictly referred to the men’s tournament until 2022 when they expanded it to the women’s tournament,” a Harris spokesperson told Check Your Fact via email.

The first ever NCAA men’s division 1 basketball tournament was held in 1939. The women’s Division I basketball league was allowed into the NCAA in 1982, according to Just Women’s Sports. (RELATED: No, The Guardian Did Not Published A Headline Labeling Afternoon Tea As Racist)

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter