1981 AIAW Division III tournament

The NCAA began sponsoring national championships for women in 1982. Championships prior to 1982 were administered by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

The 1981 championship tournament included 16 teams.

Championship
Wisconsin-La Crosse 79, Mount Mercy 71
at La Crosse, Wis. 

Third Place
Worcester State 82, Pitt-Johnstown 78 (OT)

National Semifinals
Mount Mercy 66, Worcester State 61
Wisconsin-La Crosse 70, Pitt-Johnstown 60

Second Round
at Worcester State 67, Elizabethtown 59
Mount Mercy 58, at UC Davis 53
Pitt-Johnstown 54, at Knoxville 47
Wisconsin-La Crosse 78, San Francisco State 71 (at Tarleton State)

First Round
Worcester State 68, Wisconsin-Whitewater 66
Elizabethtown 71, Columbia (S.C.) 56
UC Davis 67, Concordia-Portland 48
Mount Mercy 68, Spring Arbor 52
Pitt-Johnstown 79, Bethany (Kan.) 58
Knoxville 72, Rhode Island College 60
San Francisco State 76, Tarleton State 54 
Wisconsin-La Crosse 87, Roanoke 77 

An AIAW championship was held in 1982, but with only a handful of teams, as the NCAA sponsored women's championships for the first time in 1982.