The NCAA softball 64-team tournament bracket is set
The GIST: With conference tourney crowns awarded and the NCAA bracket booked, 64 Division I teams now know their path to June’s Women’s College World Series. Rubber, meet the road to Oklahoma City.
The automatic qualifiers: Thirty-two squads punched their tickets by hoisting conference trophies this weekend. Unsurprisingly, three-peat hopefuls Oklahoma earned the No. 1 overall seed and regional hosting rights, along with the 15 other seeded teams.
- Of all the weekend’s diving saves and walk-off wins, national No. 15 seed Utah served the most drama, upsetting powerhouse No. 2 UCLA to steal the first-ever Pac-12 tourney title. Bet the regular-season Bruins are missing their conference’s old model.
The at-large selectees: The selection committee raised a few eyebrows during last night’s bracket drop, particularly regarding seeding. For instance, No. 13 Alabama was awarded the No. 5 seed despite dropping four of their last eight regular-season games and being ousted in the SEC semis. Meanwhile, No. 7 Texas and No. 10 Clemson are less than impressed with their respective 13th and 16th seeds.
- On the other hand, the Charlotte 49ers snagged some unexpected shine: While the six other tourney first-timers clinched by winning their conference titles, the 49ers snagged a rare non–Power Five at-large bid. Nothin’ like an inaugural selection celly.
What’s next: Friday opens up a veritable softball tsunami, with a possible 112 weekend games. Hosted by the 16 seeded squads, each three-day regional pits four teams against one another in double-elimination action. Only four more sleeps…