The 64-team NCAA Softball Tournament grounds will be revealed Sunday night. With 13 schools fielding teams in the game, the SEC stands to field at least 12 of them in the tournament.
The SEC tournament will conclude on Saturday in Gainesville, Florida. Nine teams were in the top 25 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll, led by regular-season champion Arkansas at No. 4, followed by Alabama (5), Florida (12), Tennessee (13), Kentucky Was. (14), Auburn (17), Georgia (18), LSU (20) and Missouri (24).
The selection show is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT (ESPN 2).
Here are USA Today Sports Network’s projections for SEC teams in the area:
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Who will host the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals?
The selection committee will select the 16 top seeds, which will host a four-team, double-elimination regional over the weekend of May 20. The 16 regional winners will go on to play in the best-of-three Super Regional round next weekend. Host the top eight seeds if they proceed.
Here are the guesses for 16 seeds, in order:
2. Florida State
3. Virginia Tech
9. Arizona State
10. Oklahoma State
Rest of SEC Softball Teams
These projections placed Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Missouri as seeded teams in the 64-team field. They will get top priority in their respective fields.
Here are other SEC teams that should also be included: Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. These teams will be on the road as the No. 2 seed in their respective regions.
Texas A&M enters the selection weekend firmly on the bubble. The presumption here is that Aggie is one of the last four teams in the fray.
South Carolina is projected to be the only SEC team outside the NCAA Tournament zone.
Who and where will the SEC softball teams play?
This is the tricky part, and bracket-building is an exact science. But here’s a look at where USA Today Sports Network projects each team to play and who it might face.
Alabama will host the Tuscaloosa regional and will attract either Louisiana or Georgia Tech as its No. 2 seed. Look for the prospect of Minnesota or Western Kentucky, which upset the Crimson Tide late in the season as a potentially tough No. 3 seed.
The Razorbacks will host the Fayetteville Regional. Oregon expects the Pac-12 to land here. Another possibility is a strong Wichita State team capable of upset.
The Tigers will travel to Clemson, an estimated number of 15 seeds, as regional two seeds. Watch out for a potential Auburn vs. Liberty matchup in the first round, which, if it happens, could end up with a warning of trouble to Auburn.
The Gators get to play at home at Gainesville Regionals, but can’t thank the selection committee when they host perhaps the top two seeds in the tournament, and perhaps the nation’s best mid-major team at UCF. Can.
Bulldogs don’t have to go very far. Expect them to be two seeds in Duke, an upstart program that was founded in 2017 and has already started making waves.
The Wildcats are probably in the news for hosting the No. 16 seed, but that won’t happen. Instead, Kentucky will go to Northwestern, which has been the dominant team in the Big Ten this season. The Wildcats could have a tough road ahead if they slot into Virginia Tech’s regional as two seeds instead.
The Tigers host frequently, but not this year. They will travel to Austin, Texas, where the Longhorns will host a regional. Texas was the only team to beat No. 1 Oklahoma in the regular season.
The schedule has been tough with the top teams in the SEC this season. Bulldogs will have a chance to pull off a major trouble when they move to the state of Florida for the Tallahassee Territorial.
The Tigers closed strong, splitting four games with Alabama at the end of the regular season and the start of the SEC tournament. His reward would be in the form of two seeds trying to stop a dangerous Wichita state team at Columbia Regional.
The Rebels also proved difficult for some of the SEC’s better teams. They’ll get another chance to make some noise in the Tempe Regional of Arizona State.
Lady Walls finished third in the SEC and has the ingredients to score a deep run if star pitcher Ashley Rogers is in top form. They will host the Knoxville Regional and attract Ohio State as their two seeds. It’s another possible landing spot for a sneaky-good Western Kentucky team.
The good news is that Aggie is in the big dance of softball. The bad news is that his dancing partner will be the defending champion Oklahoma, who has been dominating the entire season. Texas A&M will be the three seeds in Norman Regionals.