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The WNBA debuted a new playoff format in 2016 in which the top eight teams regardless of conference qualify for the postseason.

The following teams have clinched playoff spots for 2018: Seattle Storm, Atlanta Dream, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, Connecticut Sun, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury.

If the Playoffs Started Today…

Clinching Scenarios

August 17

SEATTLE clinches best record in the league with a win OR an Atlanta loss.

DALLAS clinches a playoff spot with a win.

LAS VEGAS is eliminated with a loss.

August 15

General playoff seedings picture:

  • SEATTLE (24-8) is the only team that has clinched a top two seed (double-bye).
  • ATLANTA (22-10) is the only other team that has clinched a top four seed (single bye).
  • WASHINGTON (20-11) and LOS ANGELES (19-13) are the only other teams that have clinched a top six seed (host a playoff game)
  • ATLANTA clinches a top two seed with a Washington loss. (ATL won season series over WAS 2-1…no three-way tie possibilities).
  • WASHINGTON clinches a top four seed with a win

August 13

SEATTLE clinches best record in the league with a win AND an Atlanta loss.

CHICAGO is eliminated with a loss.

August 12

SEATTLE clinches best record in the league with a win AND an Atlanta loss.

ATLANTA can clinch a top 2 seed with a win AND a Washington loss

CHICAGO is eliminated with a loss.

August 11

LAS VEGAS is eliminated with a loss AND a Dallas win.

August 9

SEATTLE clinches best record in WNBA with a win AND an Atlanta loss.

MINNESOTA clinches a playoff spot with a win.

PHOENIX clinches a playoff spot with a Las Vegas loss.

August 8

CONNECTICUT clinches a playoff spot with a win.

August 7

ATLANTA clinches a playoff spot with a win.

LOS ANGELES clinches a playoff spot with a Las Vegas loss.

WASHINGTON clinches a playoff spot with a win AND a Las Vegas loss.

PHOENIX clinches a playoff spot with a win AND a Las Vegas loss.

Playoff Format

Effective with the 2016 season, the WNBA implemented changes to playoff seeding and qualification procedures as well as the postseason format.  Under the new postseason structure, the eight teams with the highest winning percentages regardless of conference qualify for the playoffs and are seeded based on their record.

Additional features of the reconfigured playoff structure are as follows:

  • The number of playoff rounds increased from three to four.  The top two seeds receive a bye to the semifinals (third round), and the third and fourth seeds receive a bye to the second round.
  • Teams will be re-seeded after each postseason round.
  • The first and second rounds are single elimination.  In the first round, the No. 5 seed hosts the No. 8 seed and the No. 6 seed hosts the No. 7 seed.  In the second round, the No. 3 seed hosts the lowest-seeded first-round winner and the No. 4 seed hosts the other first-round winner.
  • The semifinals feature a best-of-five format, with the No. 1 overall seed playing the lowest remaining seed and the No. 2 overall seed meeting the remaining team.  The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds will host Games 1, 2 and 5, and the lower-seeded teams will host Games 3 and 4 in their respective series.  The WNBA Finals remain best-of-five and follow the same 2-2-1 format.