Selection committee is a big crock of shit!!! Ladies get an #8 seed after sweeping #5, and taking 2 of 3 versus both #6 & #7!!!! If anyone didn’t know, UF got the #5 seed for finishing #6 in the conference but beating the ladies 2-1 last night!!!
The loss Alabama softball experienced to Florida on Saturday night in the SEC Tournament championship was tough to take.
But the news Sunday that the Gators earned a No. 5 seed while Alabama, the regular-season SEC champs, was a No. 8 seed, was a little too much.
“It was a little surprising considering we had nine top-10 wins and one loss, and that was in the (SEC) championship on a neutral site,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. “I’m pretty sure it was our non-conference schedule. But when you take care of business in the conference and win it by four games and lead from start to finish, I thought that would carry a little more weight. Obviously not.”
Alabama (52-6) will host a regional tournament for the 15th straight time. Alabama takes on Alabama State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Arizona State will play Lipscomb at 3 p.m.
Because Alabama is a top-8 seed, it will also host a super regional in two weeks if it wins the tournament this weekend.
Before the season started, Alabama was picked to finish No. 8 in the SEC so the team put up a giant poster with the number eight on it and hung it in the team clubhouse to use as motivation.
So when the team gathered at the clubhouse Sunday to watch the NCAA Selection Show and learned it was a No. 8 seed, the poster came back out and is hanging on the wall once more.
“The number eight has been a motivational factor for us since the beginning of the season,” Murphy said. “So what the hell? We might as well use it again.”
Thirteen SEC teams earned a spot in the NCAA tourney field. The Crimson Tide is one of six SEC teams hosting a regional. The Crimson Tide has made the NCAA Tournament field every year since 1999.
“I felt it was a little disappointing,” said Alabama senior catcher Reagan Dykes. “We swept Florida at Florida, and they were seeded higher than us. We beat Arizona at Arizona and also Minnesota. We beat three teams that were all seeded higher than us. We will use ‘8’ as our number the whole year. We are going to finish strong. We are going to use that to motivate us. We are going to get back to practice and work hard.”
Here's where the problem lies with the committee selections.
Bama's strength of schedule in OOC competition is what they stated was the reasoning behind the #8 seeding. Non-conference records are NOT a part of the criteria set to determine seedings. (And that's how they explained it last night.)
There were people questioning why Bama was ranked where they were when they were undefeated. It was due to their strength of schedule.
However, here's a case where Bama has a solid platform to stand upon. The NCAA did not follow their own set standards for how teams are seeded.
But, the NCAA not following their own guidelines ... shouldn't come as a surprise.
Once against Crimson Tide coach Patrick Murphy plans to use a show of disrespect to team as motivation
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Patrick Murphy wore the No. 8 when he played high school baseball back in the day in Iowa. Little did he know that number would be huge again for him in 2019.
Before the season, Southeastern Conference coaches picked Alabama to finish eighth in the always-tough league.
Murphy, coaching his 23rd team at Alabama, knew this one was better than that, so he posted a giant number eight on the wall in the team facility.
He was right. It the Crimson Tide finished first.
Then, after winning the regular season crown and finishing second in the SEC Tournament, the NCAA Selection Committee gave what appeared to be a No. 4 or 5 seed an eight.
That qualified UA, albeit barely, to host both an NCAA regional and super regional should it advance, but made the path to the national championship tougher.
The Crimson Tide could have a tougher opponent in the super regional, No. 9 Texas, and if it reaches the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City might have to face the nearby No. 1 Oklahoma.
“It was little surprising considering we had nine top ten wins,” Murphy said of waiting until the final Super Regional eligible seed to hear his team’s name called. “I’m sure it was probably our non-conference ... strength of schedule, but when you take care of business in the conference and win it by four games and lead from start to finish, I thought that would be a little more weight (with the committee).
"But obviously not.”
Murphy added, understandably, that the fact his team beat three teams seeded ahead of his — No. 5 Florida thrice on the road, No. 6 Arizona on the road and No. 7 Minnesota twice in Tuscaloosa — made things tough to swallow when he saw that number eight appear on the big screen.
“We swept LSU at LSU which was three good wins, too, so I’m not sure (what the committee was thinking),” Murphy said. “I thought we had a pretty good resume going. You win the conference by four games and all 13 SEC teams got in again, so it was a really, really good year for here for the SEC.”
And that redundant number eight? It’s now posted on a large poster in the team room at the UA softball facility.
“We’ll just use the same number for motivation,” Murphy noted. “I think our girls are going to be highly motivated as well. They’ve been like that all year long, though. I think they felt (disrespected) from the very beginning.
“I can remember when that poll came out I literally went around the room and said, ‘You know, they don’t think you’re any good. So, we’re not going to talk about it, but what are you going to do about it on the field?’ And they backed it up, and I was really proud of them for that.
“To sweep Florida, sweep LSU, and sweep Georgia, I don’t think we’ve ever done that before, and those are three of the best teams in the country. We’ve earned the top eight seed, which is what we wanted, and we’re going to run with it.”
But should a 2-1 loss in the SEC tournament title tilt make a five-to-eight seed difference? When you swept those same Gators in their house a few weeks earlier? Was the committee affected by a “recency bias?”
“I don’t know,” Murphy said. “Sometimes we feel like they don’t even look at the SEC Tournament. I think the four wins for Florida definitely helped them. Whoever you play in the tournament’s going to be a good win, because you’re playing a team that’s in the NCAA Tournament.
“Four wins in a row is impressive but we won two out of three, and we won five out of six on the road including the three at LSU last weekend. You’ve got to beat somebody or everybody at some point down the stretch, so really it’s no big deal.”
Murphy added his team seems to thrive on the Rodney Dangerfield “No Respect” mantra. “I think they do,” he grinned. “I think (seniors Reagan Dykes, Merris Schroder, Courtney Gettins and Caroline Hardy) bring a competitive energy to the team. Its been fun to watch this year.”
Murphy hopes to keep having fun watching his Team 23 for another month, beginning this week at regionals, next week at super regionals and then the Women's College World Series which extends into a second week for the teams playing for the title.
If all the above happens, Murphy may just have to retire the No. 8.
Alabama takes on Alabama State in first day of Tuscaloosa Regional.
The biggest question following the announcement of the 64-team bracket by the College Softball Selection Committee had to be, “What were they looking at?”
Alabama wasn’t snubbed. Indeed, the Crimson Tide of Coach Patrick Murphy was rewarded with a coveted top eight seed, which means hosting an NCAA Regional Tournament beginning Friday at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa. And if Bama wins that four-team, double elimination tournament Alabama would also host a Super Regional the following weekend.
The question was Alabama getting seeded behind No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Arizona, and No. 7 Minnesota. And why was that a question?
Alabama’s schedule this year included a Feb. 15 trip to Arizona, where Alabama defeated the Wildcats, 6-1. The next week Alabama hosted Minnesota for two games, Bama winning by 1-0 and 7-2. The Tide played four games against Florida this year with the Tide getting three wins in Gainesville ((3-1, 6-1, 3-0) before losing a game to the Gators in the SEC Tournament in College Station Saturday night by 2-1.
Alabama will be hosting Alabama State (24-23) at 5:30 p.m. CDT Friday, following Arizona State (33-18) vs. Lipscomb (41-13-1). The Alabama-Alabama State game will be televised on ESPNU.
So how did the selection committee justify ranking Alabama so low? It was the primary question from the ESPN crew discussing this year’s bracket. The answer they got was that Alabama’s non-conference strength of schedule ranked 106th. Bama was 32-0 in non-conference games. The committee (presumably with great smugness, like almost everything done wrong by anything NCAA) pointed out that Minnesota had the No. 1 non-conference strength of schedule. Never mind that Alabama defeated the Gophers in head-to-head meetings – twice.
Alabama has the best record of any of the top 16 seeds at 52-7. The Crimson Tide was regular season champion of the SEC, which has the No. 1 RPI in the nation. Bama was 9-1 vs. top 10 RPI teams. Alabama’s 12 wins against top 25 teams was fourth most in the nation.
As for that non-conference strength of schedule argument, how about the SEC strength of schedule. Not only did it have the highest RPI of any conference, a glance at the 64-team bracket will reveal that all 13 SEC teams were selected for the national championship tournament, six of them No. 1 seeds. It is the third consecutive season all 13 SEC softball teams were selected for the national tournament.
Should Alabama win the Tuscaloosa Regional, it will host the winner of the Austin Regional hosted by No. 9 seed Texas (41-14). Also in that regional are Sam Houston State (34-21), Houston (37-17), and Texas A&M (28-25).
In addition to No. 5 Florida and No. 8 Alabama, SEC teams earning top seeds were No. 10 LSU, No. 11 Ole Miss, No. 12 Tennessee, and No. 14 Kentucky.
Also from the conference making the tournament in addition to Texas A&M were Missouri in the UCLA Regional, Mississippi State in the Washington Regional, South Carolina in the Florida State Regional, Auburn in the Arizona Regional, Georgia in the Minnesota Regional, and Arkansas in the Ole Miss Regional. (Vanderbilt does not field a softball team.)
This is Alabama’s 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament selection. Bama has advanced to the Super Regional in each of the previous 13 seasons since it was established in 2005.
The Tide has made 11 previous appearances in the Women’s College World Series, winning the national championship in 2012 – the first national softball title for an SEC team.
Regionals will be held Thursday-Sunday, followed by the Super Regionals May 23-26. The NCAA Women’s College World Series will take place May 30-June 5 in Oklahoma City.
Funy..the announcers for the SEC softball tournament were talking that bama might challenge Oklahoma for #1 seed....certainly a 2 or 3.....
Anyway...gotta play every body to win it all....and should be in ttown for a lot of games...