The NCAA Softball Tournament field of 64 teams will be revealed Sunday night. With 13 schools fielding teams in the sport, the SEC stands to land at least 12 of them in the tournament.
The SEC Tournament concludes Saturday in Gainesville, Florida. Nine teams ranked in the Top 25 in the USA TODAY/NFCA coaches poll were in the field, led by regular-season champion Arkansas at No. 4, followed by Alabama (5), Florida (12), Tennessee (13), Kentucky (14), Auburn (17), Georgia (18), LSU (20) and Missouri (24).
The selection show is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT (ESPN2).
Here’s are the USA TODAY Sports Network’s projections for SEC teams in the field:
Who will host NCAA regionals and super regionals?
The selection committee will choose 16 top seeds, which will host four-team, double-elimination regionals the weekend of May 20. The 16 regional winners will advance to play in the best-of-three super regional round the following weekend, with the top eight seeds hosting if they advance.
Here are projections for the 16 seeds, in order:
2. Florida State
3. Virginia Tech
9. Arizona State
10. Oklahoma State
The rest of the SEC softball teams
These projections put Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Missouri in the 64-team field as seeded teams. They will be the top seed in their respective regionals.
Here are the 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 seeds in their respective regionals.
Texas A&M enters selection weekend firmly on the bubble. The projection here is that the Aggies are one of the last four teams in the field.
South Carolina is projected to be the only SEC team left out of the NCAA Tournament field.
Who and where will SEC softball teams play?
This is the tricky part, and bracket-building is an inexact science. But here is a look at where the USA TODAY Sports Network projects each team to play and who it might face.
Alabama will host the Tuscaloosa Regional and will draw either Louisiana or Georgia Tech as its No. 2 seed. Look for the possibility of Minnesota or Western Kentucky, which upset the Crimson Tide late in the season, as a possible tough No. 3 seed.
The Razorbacks will host the Fayetteville Regional. Expect Oregon from the Pac-12 to land here. Another possibility is a strong Wichita State team that’s capable of pulling off an upset.
The Tigers will travel to Clemson, the projected No. 15 seed, as the regional’s two seed. Watch out for a possible Auburn vs. Liberty matchup in the first round that, if it happens, could put Auburn on upset alert.
The Gators get to play at home in the Gainesville Regional, but may not thank the selection committee when they host perhaps the top two seed in the tournament, and perhaps the best mid-major team in the country in UCF.
The Bulldogs won’t have to go far. Expect them to be the two seed at Duke, an upstart program that was founded in 2017 and has already started making waves.
The Wildcats are probably in the discussion to host as the No. 16 seed, but it 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 tougher road if they get slotted as the two seed at Virginia Tech’s regional instead.
The Tigers often host, 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.
This program has hung tough with the top teams in the SEC this season. The Bulldogs will get a chance to pull a major upset when they go to Florida State for the Tallahassee Regional.
The Tigers closed strong, splitting four games with Alabama over the end of the regular season and the start of the SEC Tournament. Their reward will be trying to fend off a dangerous Wichita State team in the Columbia Regional as the two seed.
The Rebels also proved troublesome to some of the SEC’s better teams. They’ll get another chance to make some noise at the Tempe Regional at Arizona State.
The Lady Vols finished third in the SEC and have the ingredients to make a deep run if star pitcher Ashley Rogers is in top form. They’ll host the Knoxville Regional and draw Ohio State as their two seed. This is another possible landing spot for a sneaky-good Western Kentucky team.
The good news is the Aggies are in softball’s big dance. The bad news is their dancing partner will be defending champion Oklahoma, which has been dominant all season. Texas A&M will be the three seed at the Norman Regional.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Bracketology: Who will SEC teams play in 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament?