June 27 – The Big East and UConn jointly announced that the school would join the Big East; though the official announcements did not specify a time, it was expected that the Huskies would become members in 2020.
July 26 – Multiple media reports indicated that UConn and The American had reached a buyout agreement that will lead to UConn joining the Big East in July 2020. The exit fee was reportedly $17 million.
California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, which upon taking effect in 2023 will prohibit public colleges and universities in the state from punishing their athletes for earning endorsement income. The bill places the state in direct conflict with the NCAA's current business model, which prohibits college athletes from receiving such income. At the time the bill was signed, several other states were proposing similar laws.
Officials at Tarleton State University, current members of the Division II Lone Star Conference, announced that the school had accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference. Full details, including the joining date, were expected to be revealed in the following days, but were delayed by more than a month.
October 4 – Officials at the University of St. Thomas, a Minnesota school that will be expelled from its longtime athletic home of the NCAA Division IIIMinnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) in 2021, announced that the school had received an invitation to join the Summit League upon its MIAC departure. In order for St. Thomas to directly transition to the Summit, it must receive a waiver of an NCAA rule stating that Division III schools can only transition to Division II.
October 29 – The NCAA board of governors voted unanimously to begin the process of changing institutional rules so that college athletes can profit from their names, images, and likenesses, while still maintaining a distinction between college and professional sports. The proposal calls for each of the three NCAA divisions to draft new rules consistent with this mandate, with a target date of January 2021.
November 5 – The first day of the regular season saw three players record triple-doubles, the most for a single day of play in NCAA history.
Aliyah Boston of South Carolina had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 blocks in the Gamecocks' 103–43 rout of Alabama State. She became the first player ever to record a triple-double in her first career game.
Denia Davis-Stewart of Merrimack had 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 blocks in the Warriors' first game in NCAA Division I, a 79–64 win over UMass.
Chelsea Olson of Youngstown State had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in the Penguins' 87–59 win over Canisius.
November 9 – Preseason #1 Oregon defeated the US national team 93–86 in an exhibition, led by Ionescu's 30 points. This marked the first time that Team USA had lost to college competition since a 1999 loss to Tennessee.
November 12 – The Western Athletic Conference officially announced Tarleton State's entry into the league effective July 1, 2020.
November 16 – Ionescu became the first NCAA player, regardless of division or sex, to record a triple-double in four different seasons. She had 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists in the Ducks' 99–63 win over Texas Southern, extending her record for career triple-doubles to 19.
November 21 – Kamiyah Street, the starting point guard for Kennesaw State, was arrested and charged with murder in the July 16, 2019 shooting death of a man whose body was found in the parking deck of an Atlanta apartment complex. Street was immediately suspended once KSU was notified of the charge.
November 25 – Sierra'Li Wade, a freshman guard for Arkansas–Pine Bluff who had yet to make her debut for the team, was killed in a shooting in her hometown of Lake Village, Arkansas.
November 30 – The Atlantis Paradise Island resort in The Bahamas announced that the Battle 4 Atlantis, a prominent early-season Division I men's tournament held at the resort, would add a women's tournament starting next season. The women's tournament will feature eight teams (the same number as the men's version), and will be held immediately before the men's tournament.
February 18 – The NCAA announced that it was considering a proposal that would allow student-athletes in all sports a one-time waiver to transfer to a new school without having to sit out a season. This would place all NCAA sports under the same transfer rules; currently, first-time transfers are only required to sit out a season in baseball, men's and women's basketball, football, and men's ice hockey. The existing criteria for the waiver would be extended to these five sports—namely, a player must receive a transfer release from his or her previous school, leave that school academically eligible, maintain academic progress at the new school, and not be under any disciplinary suspension.
The Mid-American Conference did not initially cancel its men's and women's tournaments, which had begun on March 9 with first-round games at campus sites, but announced that the remainder of both tournaments, to be held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland from March 11–14, would be held under what it called a "restricted attendance policy". The only individuals allowed to attend games will be credentialed institutional personnel, credentialed media and broadcast crews, team party members, and family members of players. The conference would ultimately cancel its tournament on March 12 (see below).
All Division I conference tournaments that had yet to be completed were canceled, even those in progress.
Some schools—most notably Duke and Kansas—suspended all athletic travel indefinitely.
The NCAA announced the decision to cancel both the men's and women's NCAA tournaments, as well as all championship events for the remainder of the 2019–20 academic year (including the NCAA Skiing Championships, then in progress).
The following players reached the 2,000-point milestone during the season—Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard, both of Oregon.
Ionescu and Hebard both reached the 1,000-rebound milestone during the season. Hebard reached this milestone in the same game in which Ionescu surpassed the 2,000-point mark. Ionescu reached the mark in Oregon's 74–66 win over Stanford on February 24, 2020, reaching two additional milestones during this game. She recorded her eighth triple-double of the season, tying her own record from last season for the most in a single season in NCAA history for either men or women. Ionescu also became the first player in NCAA basketball history with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds in a career. She had previously joined Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga (2007–11) as the only Division I players with 2,000 points and 1,000 assists.
On December 18, Baylor guard Juicy Landrum set a new Division I women's record with 14 three-pointers in the Lady Bears' 111–43 rout of Arkansas State. This was more three-pointers than the Lady Bears had previously recorded as a team in a single game.
Four days later, Brittany Brewer of Texas Tech tied the Division I record for blocks in a game, recording 16 as part of a triple-double in the Lady Raiders' 83–38 rout of Louisiana–Monroe. Coincidentally, the previous record-holder, former TCU player Sandora Irvin, also reached that mark as part of a triple-double.
In addition, two existing Division I teams assumed new athletic identities.
After the 2018–19 school year, Long Island University (LIU) merged the athletic programs of its two main campuses—the Division I LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds and Division II LIU Post Pioneers—into a single program that now plays as the LIU Sharks. The Sharks inherited the Division I and Northeast Conference memberships of the Brooklyn campus, with some sports to be based in Brooklyn and others at the Post campus in Brookville, New York. Specific to basketball, LIU announced that the unified men's and women's teams in that sport would be based in Brooklyn.
On July 1, 2019, the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) announced that its athletic program, formerly known as the UMKC Kangaroos, would officially become the Kansas City Roos, with "Roos" having long been used as a short form of the former "Kangaroos" nickname.
This was Liberty's final season playing games full-time at the Vines Center, home to the Flames since 1990. The school opened the adjoining Liberty Arena, with less than half of the capacity at Vines Center, for the 2020–21 season. The Vines Center will continue to be used for games in which attendance is expected to exceed 4,000.
Immediately after the 2018–19 season, Duquesne began an extensive renovation of the on-campus Palumbo Center. When the venue reopens, expected for the 2020–21 school year, it will be renamed UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, via a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the family foundation of late Duquesne star Chuck Cooper, the first African American selected in an NBA draft. At the time of announcement, the final capacity of the renovated venue had not been determined, but Duquesne's athletic director expected it to have about the same capacity as the pre-renovation Palumbo Center (4,390). Duquesne's temporary home venue had also not yet been announced, but it was expected that PPG Paints Arena would be used for at least some men's home games. Duquesne revealed its plans for the 2019–20 women's season in two phases, announcing its non-conference schedule on September 5, 2019 and its conference schedule on September 30. The following four venues will be used:
PPG Paints Arena will host two games. The first is the season opener; it will be the second leg of a doubleheader with the men's team. The second will be the opening leg of a doubleheader with the men.
An upset is a victory by an underdog team. In the context of NCAA Division I Women's Basketball, this generally constitutes an unranked team defeating a team currently ranked in the Top 25. This list will highlight those upsets of ranked teams by unranked teams as well as upsets of #1 teams. Rankings are from the AP poll.
Bold type indicates winning teams in "true road games"—i.e., those played on an opponent's home court (including secondary homes).
Before the 2017–18 season, it was impossible for a consensus women's All-America team to be determined because the AP had been the only body that divided its women's selections into separate teams. The USBWA first named separate teams in 2017–18. The women's counterpart to the NABC, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), continues the USBWA's former practice of selecting a single 10-member (plus ties) team. The NCAA does not recognize Sporting News as an All-America selector in women's basketball.
Pruitt's contract was not renewed on March 23, ending her 5-year tenure at Alcorn State with a 49–102 overall record. Former Mississippi Valley State and Arkansas Pine-Bluff coach Kilbert, who was an assistant at Alcorn State from 2001-2011, was named the new head coach of the Lady Braves on May 5.
Denver announced on June 16 that Turgeon, who had been placed on administrative leave since January, will not return after 2½ seasons with the team. On July 22, The Pioneers hired Tulane assistant coach Woods for the open job.
Dillon left Drexel on March 27 after 17 seasons for the head coaching job at her alma mater Villanova. Not long after Dillon's departure, the Dragons promoted longtime assistant coach Mallon to the head coaching position.
9 months after having the interim tag removed and being named new head coach, FAMU parted ways with Lynum on April 22 following a 6-21 record this season. Middle Tennessee assistant coach Shalon Pillow was hired as the new head coach of the Lady Rattlers on May 28.
On April 5, Texas hired Vic Schaefer away from Mississippi State following 8 seasons with the Bulldogs. On April 9, Old Dominion head coach Nikki McCray-Penson was hired following 3 seasons as the Lady Monarchs' head coach.
Montana parted ways with Schweyen on April 1, 2020 after 4 seasons and a 52-69 overall record. Assistant head coach Petrino was named interim head coach of the Lady Griz for the 2020-21 season. After the season ended, Oregon State assistant coach Brian Holsinger was hired on April 13, 2021.
Pemper was fired on March 10 after 12 seasons at the Naval Academy, leaving as the program's winningest coach with 214 wins. North Carolina asst. Tim Taylor, who previously spent 3 different stints as an asst. at the University of Virginia, was hired as head coach of the Midshipmen on April 28.
Magarity left New Hampshire on April 14 after 10 seasons for the Holy Cross head coaching position. UNH initially named associate head coach Hogan, who had been on the Wildcats staff since she completed her playing career with the team in 2014, as interim head coach the following day, and had the interim tag removed on August 10.
North Dakota's athletic director announced on March 11, 2020 that Brewster will not return as head coach after 9 seasons at UND, in which the Fighting Hawks went 128–120 overall. Associate head coach Bernhard initially served as the interim head coach for the 2020–21 season, and had the interim tag removed on March 17, 2021 and was officially named the new head coach.
Dupuy announced his resignation from Northwestern State on January 26 after 3½ seasons. During his tenure, the Lady Demons went 36–60, including a 5–13 overall record and 2–7 record in conference play at the time of his resignation. Assistant coach Swinson served as the team's interim head coach for the rest of the season. On March 18, the school initially hired Missy Bilderback from Jones College of the NJCAA as their new head coach, but on April 6, Bilderback backed out and returned to Jones College. The school would then hire UT Rio Grand Valley associate head coach Nimz on April 11.
Lange's contract with Omaha was not renewed on March 9, ending her 7-year tenure at the school with an 80–124 overall record. Ohio State assistant coach Banks was named the new head coach of the Mavericks on April 8.
Kern initially took a temporary leave from Tennessee State on December 6, but announced her resignation from TSU sometime after the season was over. Auburn associate head coach Evans was named the new head coach of the Lady Tigers on August 19.
Aston was dismissed on April 3 despite a 184–83 overall record in eight seasons, including four straight Sweet Sixteen appearances from 2015–18; however, the Longhorns went 1–18 against Baylor during her tenure. On April 5, Texas hired Vic Schaefer away from Mississippi State following 8 seasons with the Bulldogs.
Texas Tech fired Stollings on August 6 after 2 seasons following allegations of player abuse in the program. On August 18, UT Arlington head coach and former Lady Raider star player Gerlich was named the new head coach of the team.
Margartis announced his resignation on September 13 after 15 seasons at UC Riverside, a day after being placed on unpaid leave when the school launched an investigation into accusations of emotional and verbal abuse by current and former UC Riverside players against him. Assistant coach Bell was named interim head coach of the Highlanders for the 2019–20 season. On March 30, the school hired Grand Canyon head coach Nicole Powell.
Mock Kirkpatrick announced her resignation from UNC Asheville on April 7 after 8 seasons and a 117–137 overall record. Almost immediately after Mock Kirkpatrick's resignation, the Bulldogs promoted associate head coach Brown to fill the vacancy.
Olivier announced her resignation on March 6 after 12 seasons at her alma mater, finishing with a 182–193 overall record with only one postseason tournament appearance. On March 18, Stanford assistant coach and Las Vegas native La Racque was named the new head coach of the Lady Rebels.
George resigned on May 9 after 15 seasons at USC Upstate, leaving as the program's winningest coach with 193 wins. The Spartans went to the Division II ranks for their next hire, naming University of Charleston head coach Burke as their new head coach on June 8.
Gerlich left UTA on August 18 after 7 seasons for the head coaching job at her alma mater Texas Tech. On September 4, Vanderbilt associate head coach Wright was named the new head coach of the Mavericks.
The elder Finkbeiner, who had been on a medical leave of absence since early November, announced on November 25 that he was stepping down from his head coaching position after 7 seasons at Utah State. His son Ben, the Aggies associate head coach, was named interim head coach for the rest of the season. Denver assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ard was named Utah State's new head coach on March 23.
The then 64-year-old Perretta announced on October 30 that he would retire at the end of the 2019–20 season. His 42 seasons as the Wildcats' head coach tie him with Yvonne Kaufmann, who coached at Division IIIElizabethtown from 1971 to 2012, for the most at a single school in NCAA women's history (including seasons in which women's sports were governed by the AIAW). On March 27, the Wildcats hired Villanova alum Denise Dillon from nearby Drexel as their new head coach.
Woodard was relieved of her head coaching duties on March 24 after 3 seasons at Winthrop, in which the Eagles went 24–70 overall. Associate head coach Randall was named interim head coach of the Eagles for the 2020-21 season. Her interim tag was removed on April 8, 2021 when she was named head coach following the 2020–21 season.