ELOOnline : College Softball 2014 NCAA Tournament Projections

We are four weeks away from Selection Sunday and who will make the NCAA Tournament.

AAC :  The next two weekends will go a long way in telling the story of the AAC Regular season title race. Two big series this weekend, first in Orlando, UCF coming off a Audas_UCF_ Softballthrilling series win at Tampa against USF  now host  Louisville.  Junior Mackenzie Audas went 3-0 last week winning on the road at Stetson and beating USF twice including a classic pitchers duel against Sara Nevins and the Bulls on Sunday 2-1 in a pitching rematch from the 2012 regional in Gainesville. Audas would win AAC pitcher of the week honors for the second time joining her teammate Shelby Turnier as two time AAC pitcher of the weeks this season. Audas also is in the conversation with Turnier, and Nevins in the race for AAC pitcher of the Year.   The series  win over the Bulls which was the first time the two programs met on the field in the regular season since 2006  help put the Knights in a good spot for a return to the NCAA Tournament but also keep them in the AAC Conference title race as the Knights (30-13) (7-2) are one game back in the loss column behind Houston in the standings for first place. The Knights will continue critical stretch in the season as they host Louisville who was the preseason pick to win the AAC started slow in conference but have won six in a row to get to 8-4 in conference and right behind the Knights for first third place.  The Knights host Houston the following weekend in potential showdown  as the next few weeks will go a long way in deciding UCF postseason fate.USF_Sara_Nevins_1

Houston begins a critical two weekend stretch in conference that be toughest part of conference schedule for the Cougars. The Cougars who have number one offense in the conference will face two of the top pitching staffs in the country. The Cougars who are led by  star hitter Haley Outon will host Nevins and the Bulls this weekend and follow that by a trip to Orlando the following weekend to renew rivalry with UCF from CUSA.

Other Key series this weekend.

• Alabama vs. Auburn (Wednesday)  :  First meeting as conference foes for Alabama HC Pat Murphy vs Auburn’s Clint Myers.
•  Lipscomb at Stetson (Friday-Saturday) : The A-Sun  is looking to have two teams in NCAA Tournament for the first time ever in conference history. USC Upstate figures to be favorites to get a spot from the conference. This series in DeLand could identify the 2nd team as Lipscomb and rpi of 30 travel to Stetson who has critical 4 game stretch with Lipscomb at home then travel to UCF on April 22.
• Texas at Oklahoma (Thursday-Saturday) :  No Keilani Ricketts , No Blair Luna. Still major implications in Big 12 conference title race between these long time rivals.
• California at Oregon (Friday-Sunday) : California on the bubble has an opportunity traveling to number 1 rank Oregon.
• Minnesota at Michigan (Friday-Sunday) : Minnesota and Michigan in a Big 10 series showdown.

Here is my first NCAA Tournament Softball projections of the year as I be doing one each week. ( )  means RPI ranking.  Some interesting regular season races starting to heat up.

ACC (4): Florida State (8), North Carolina State (26), Notre Dame (25), Virginia Tech (38)

American (4): Houston (31),  Louisville (42), UCF (35), USF (44)

Big East: DePaul (41)

Big 12 (4): Baylor (12), Oklahoma (14), Texas (32), Kansas (34)

Big Ten (4): Michigan (18), Minnesota (19), Nebraska (13), Northwestern (28)

Pac-12 (6): Arizona (9), Arizona State (10), California (52), Oregon (6), UCLA (4), Washington (21)

SEC (11): Alabama (1), Auburn (23), Florida (2), Georgia (3), Kentucky (16), LSU (22), Mississippi State (39), Missouri (5), Tennessee (11), Texas A&M (15), South Carolina (36)

A-10: Saint Joseph’s

America East: Albany

A-Sun (2): Lipscomb (30), USC-Upstate (27)

Big Sky: Idaho State

Big South: Coastal Carolina

Big West: Long Beach State (37)

CAA: James Madison (24)

C-USA (3): Florida International (47), Tulsa (20), UAB (33)

Horizon: Illinois-Chicago

Ivy: Dartmouth

MAAC: Fairfield

MAC: Ball State

MEAC: Bethune-Cookman

MVC: Northern Iowa

MWC: San Diego State (40)

NEC: Central Connecticut State

OVC: Jacksonville State

Patriot: Lehigh

Southern: Samford

Southland: McNeese State (29)

Summit: North Dakota State

Sun Belt (2): Louisiana-Lafayette (7), South Alabama (17)

SWAC: Jackson State

WAC: New Mexico State

WCC: Pacific

Last 4 In : FIU (47), California (52), USF (44), Mississippi State (39)

First 4 Out :  Stanford (46), Stetson(49), College of Charleston (50), Hofstra (51)

Next 4 Out : Oklahoma State (58), Wisconsin (54),  Mercer (43), Georgia Southern (57)

Temas Projections to Host and seed

1- Oregon

2- Alabama

3- Tennessee

4- Arizona State

5- UCLA

6- Missouri

7- Florida State

8- Michigan

9- Florida

10- Oklahoma

11- Arizona

12- Baylor

13- Georgia

14- Louisiana – Lafayette

15-  Kentucky

16- Nebraska

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