WNBA 2016 Playoff Picture, Format, and Schedule


This year the WNBA made significant changes to their playoff format that could make for an exciting postseason. The playoffs have been stretched from three rounds to four and only the top eight teams make it in. The first and second rounds are single elimination and the top two seeds get a bye to the Semi-Final round while the third and fourth place teams receive a bye to the second round. Teams will be reseeded after each round and the Semi-Final and Finals will remain a best-of-five, 2-2-1 format. The no.1 and no. 2 seeds will host games 1, 2, and 5.

The Minnesota Lynx (1) and the Los Angeles Sparks (2) will receive byes to the Semi-Final  beginning Sept.28, however, the action tips off Wednesday. The Indiana Fever (5) host the Phoenix Mercury (8) followed by the Seattle Storm (7) on the road against the Atlanta Dream (6). The Lynx are considered heavy favorites after setting a franchise record with 28 wins this season, but let’s see if the new playoff format mixes up expected outcomes from the WNBA postseason.

The entire 2016 WNBA playoff schedule is as follows:

First Round

Wednesday, Sept. 21

Single elimination

(8) Phoenix at (5) Indiana, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)

(7) Seattle at (6) Atlanta, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)

Second Round

Saturday, Sept. 24

Single elimination

TBD at (3) New York, 7 p.m. (NBA TV/ESPN3)

Sunday, Sept. 25

TBD at (4) Chicago, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)


Wednesday, Sept. 28

Game 1: TBD at (1) Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 1 TBD at (2) Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

Friday, Sept. 30

Game 2: TBD at (1) Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)

Game 2: TBD at (2) Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (ESPNews)

Sunday, Oct. 2

Game 3: (1) Minnesota at TBD, TBD (ESPN2)

Game 3: (2) Los Angeles at TBD, TBD (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Oct. 4

Game 4*: (1) Minnesota at TBD, TBD (ESPN2)

Game 4*: (2) Los Angeles at TBD, TBD (ESPN2)

Thursday, Oct. 6

Game 5*: TBD at (1) Minnesota, TBD (ESPN2)

Game 5*: TBD at (2) Los Angeles, TBD (ESPN2)

* If  games are necessary



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