The Arizona softball team will learn their postseason fate on Sunday when the Selection Show begins at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
Based on media projections, they are a virtual lock to be a top-16 seed but on the outside looking in for a top-8 seed. That would mean Arizona would get to host the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament but have to go on the road for Super Regionals before (hopefully) heading to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series.
College Sports Madness projects the Wildcats will be the 14-seed while D1Softball.com and Justin’s World of Softball predicts they will be the 12-seed.
Here’s a closer look at Arizona’s résumé.
By the numbers
- Overall record: 36-13
- Pac-12 record: 12-10 (fifth place)
- Pac-12 record if you include the non-conference games vs. Pac-12 teams: 18-10
- Strength of schedule: 12 (according to D1Softball)
- RPI: 11
- Record vs. RPI Top 25 teams: 5-12
- Record vs. RPI 26-40 teams: 4-1
- Record vs. RPI 51+ teams: 27-0
- Last 10 games: 5-5
Highlights of Arizona’s résumé
- 5 wins over ranked teams—at No. 7 Florida State, at No. 12 ASU, at No. 11 Oregon (x2), vs. No. 2 UCLA.
- Swept all 4 road games at Stanford, an NCAA Tournament-caliber team that ranks 39th in RPI.
- No bad losses. 31-0 against unranked teams.
“We took care of business with the teams that we needed to,” head coach Mike Candrea said after Saturday’s regular-season finale. “We struggled a little bit on the road but if you look at the losses, most of them were on the road against the better teams in the conference. I think our sweep of Stanford is looking much better right now as they took two from Washington. Sweep of Oregon (State), sweep of Utah, and then we had ASU and Washington and Oregon on the road.”
Lowlights of Arizona’s résumé
- 5-13 against ranked teams (though 13 of those games and 10 of those losses were on the road).
- No series wins against ranked teams.
- Series losses to Washington and Florida State, two teams also on the bubble for a top-8 seed. Can the committee justify putting Arizona ahead of them?
- 11-10 on the road.
“I was kind of surprised that we didn’t play better on the road,” Candrea said. “And unfortunately when it comes to postseason, you’re going to have to win on the road, so hopefully we’ve learned our lessons. A lot of it is not waiting to get your back against the wall to get going. You’ve got to throw the punches from the very beginning.”
Arizona’s most likely Super Regional matchup
Based on the three aforementioned projections, Arizona may be slated to face a team like Oklahoma, Arkansas or Oklahoma State on the road in a best-of-three Super Regional. A rematch with Florida State or Washington could be in the cards too.
I asked Mike Candrea to make his case for why Arizona softball is deserving of a top-8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) May 16, 2021
Here you go: pic.twitter.com/kRv5kK61yO