The Selection Show aired late Sunday night but it didn’t take long for Tennessee’s name to appear in the brackets. The Lady Vols received the No. 7 overall seed and will host the Knoxville Regional.
This will be the eighth consecutive year that Tennessee has hosted a regional. If the Lady Vols survive this weekend they would also host a Super Regional and, if seeds hold, it would be Georgia, one of nine teams from the SEC to make the field of 64. That was the most of any conference and tied an SEC record.
SEC Champion Alabama (50-7) earned the national No. 2 seed for the second year in a row while the Florida Gators (46-11) earned the No. 5 seed. Tennessee checked in at No. 7 while Georgia (41-15) received the No. 10 spot among the 16 seeded teams.
Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia will all host events at their stadiums.
Arkansas (27-26) will face Boston University in the Berkley Regional; Auburn (33-21) will meet Houston in the Austin Regional; Kentucky (29-28) will take on Michigan in the Louisville Regional; LSU (34-22) will face Texas State in the College Station Regional; and Mississippi State (33-20) heads to the Oregon to take on BYU in the Eugene Regional.
The Lady Vols coaches and players gathered Sunday night at the softball complex to watch the selection show and were pleased with the seed and the pairings.
“I think it’s a good draw,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. “I mean at this time of year, any draw will be tough in the NCAA Tournament. We haven’t played the three teams that are in our NCAA Regional, but they’re all good. We know what they’ve done.
“Of course, if we are fortunate enough to advance to Super Regionals, it’s likely to be against Georgia, and it’s always a battle every time we play them. They’re a great team too. This time of year, you’re going to get good opponents in every game, and you’re going to have to play well to win.”
The Knoxville Regional begins Friday at Lee Softball Stadium with UAB (37-20) taking on Virginia Tech (40-19) at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
Tennessee (46-10) will take on Miami of Ohio (40-18) at 6 p.m. Eastern on Friday.
The format is double-elimination over the three-day regional and play begins Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
This is Tennessee’s 10th invitation to the NCAA Tournament and the ninth under Ralph and Karen Weekly.
INSIDE TENNESSEE VIDEO COVERAGE
Ashley Andrews, Madison Shipman
Selection Show from utsportstv