The softball regular season wrapped up this weekend, which means it's time for the tournament! Here's how you can watch the Softball Selection Show:
7 PM MST (10 PM ET)
What to expect:
Arizona appears to be solidly in the top-16 nationally, which should guarantee them a one-seed in whatever region they end up drawing.
The issue? At least three Pac-12 teams will most likely be seeded ahead of the Wildcats, including Arizona State. Back in 2008, Arizona was the No. 7 National Seed, but still had to go on the road the first weekend. And not just on the road, but to Hempstead, NY where they had to take on Canisius, Long Island, and Hofstra, all NY-area schools.
In 2008, ASU was the No. 6 National Seed, and UCLA was No. 2. This year, those two teams, along with Oregon (and possibly Washington) are headed for a better seed than Arizona, which may put the Wildcats on the road again.
Being at home would be a huge advantage, as the softball team had not lost a single game at Hillenbrand Stadium all year until this past weekend when No. 1 Oregon came to Tucson and took two-of-three from the Cats.
By contrast, Arizona is just 7-8 on the road, and 6-3 at neutral sites.
2008 turned out OK, as the Wildcats went on to beat Oklahoma in the Tucson Super Regional, but then went two-and-done at the WCWS.
College baseball and softball have always suffered from regional biases, and putting two Regionals in the state of Arizona is not ideal for the NCAA spreading the game of softball. That's why it's ever an issue. In a perfect world, the top-sixteen host Regionals, and then the top-eight remaining host Super Regionals.
But it's not a perfect world, and I would expect the Wildcats are facing a road-trip to open up their 2014 NCAA Tournament run. But whatever draw they get, they should still be the favorites by a wide-margin to advance to the Super Regional weekend.