NCAA Tournament Projections 2017

With three weeks until Selection Sunday. The big debate it appears in 2017 will be how many teams will the SEC get the field of 64?
The SEC has all teams in the top 32 of the RPI which historically is where you want to be to get a bid into the field of 64.
In the past usually couple of teams would fall of the pace and not get consideration but if the commitee goes by the RPI which they historically do that will not be the case this season.
Georgia which is 4-14 in last 18 games and sits in last place of the SEC with 3-15 still has an RPI of 28 and Bulldogs can argue they have been a victim of the in balance SEC Conference schedule. The Bulldogs had to play at Florida, at Texas AM and at LSU.
The other question will be will Power 5 take up spots at expense of each other or the non power 5 conferences? If the SEC were to get 12-13 teams will it be at expense of Power 5 conference like Big 10, Big 12, ACC or at expense of the  American, Big West , OVC or the A-SUN conference which is ranked in the top 5 conferences according to the RPI. Those are some of the storylines to follow in the next few weeks.
ACC (3): Florida State (8), Notre Dame (42), North Carolina (33)
American (1):  Tulsa (30)
Big East (1)  St John’s
Big 12 (4):  Oklahoma(12), Baylor (9),  Texas (34), Oklahoma State (35)
Big Ten (5): Michigan (20), Minnesota (11), Illinois (21), Ohio State (36), Wisconsin(38)
Pac-12 (7):  Oregon (7), Washington (3), UCLA (6),  Arizona (2), Utah(15), Arizona State (22), California (23)
SEC (13): Florida (1),  Alabama (14), Auburn (4), Missouri(31),  Kentucky (17),  Tennessee (10), LSU (13), Georgia (28), Texas A&M(5), South Carolina (24), Mississippi State (32),  Ole Miss (27), Arkansas (26),
A-10 (1): Dayton
America East (1): Maine
A-Sun (3): USC Upstate (45), Kennesaw State (43), Lipscomb (37)
Big Sky (1): Weber State
Big South (1): Liberty
Big West (1): Long Beach State
CAA (1):  James Madison (16)
C-USA (2): Marshall (25), FAU (41)
Horizon (1): Illinois-Chicago
Ivy (1): Princeton
MAAC (1): Manhattan
MAC (1): Ball State
MEAC (1): Florida A&M
MVC (1): Illinois State (48)
MWC (2):  Utah State, San Diego State (46),
NEC (1): Saint Francis (57)
OVC (1): Jacksonville State (40)
Patriot( 1): Lehigh
Southern (1): Furman
Southland (1): McNeese State (55)
Summit (1): Western Illinois
Sun Belt (2): Louisiana-Lafayette (19), Texas State (29)
SWAC (1): Alcorn State
WAC (1): New Mexico State
WCC (1): BYU (18)
64 teams
Last 4 In ,Georgia (28), South Carolina (24), Missouri (31), Texas (34)
First 6 Out,  SIUE (39), Louisville(54), Oregon State (47), USF (49), FIU(51),CSUN(56)
Host Regionals Projections
1- Florida 
2- Arizona 
3- Florida State 
4- Texas AM
5- Washington 
6- Minnesota 
7- Tennessee
8- Oregon
9- Oklahoma 
10- UCLA  
11- Auburn
12- Baylor 
13-Alabama
14- Utah 
15- LSU
16- James Madison
In The Mix to Host
Louisiana Lafayette
Michigan
Kentucky
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Who’s Going No 1?

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On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson break down the 2017 NPF Draft with Justin’s World’s Justin McLeod including:

  • Who likely to go Number 1 in the Draft?
  • What is strength of the Draft?
  • Effects of USA Softball ties with players in the draft?
  • Who are sleepers of the draft?

In The Circle  NPF Draft Preview Episode 86

You can follow the NPF Draft on Monday April 24th right here.

Below is the list of all the Number one picks in the NPF Draft’s History.

 

Sydney Gerbracht Talks Going From Playing to Broadcasting

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On this edition of In The Circle, Former Houston Cougars Softball player Sydney Gerbracht talks about going from playing softball at Houston to now broadcasting games at Houston as well as her broadcasting aspirations and more including

  • How Sydney ended up at HoustonSydney_2
  • Favorite moments from her playing career
  • How Sydney got into broadcasting
  • What does Sydney hope to end up in Broadcasting

In The Circle with Sydney Gerbracht Episode 85 

Gerbracht free lances as a broadcaster including for the American Digital Network which Gerbracht will be on once again on May 5th for UCF at Tulsa. Below is her most recent broadcast on the American Digital Network between Houston and UConn.

Gerbracht played at Houston redshirting in 2011 being with the Cougars 2011 teamSydney_3 that won the Conference USA Regular season championship  and made it to the Super Regionals within one game of the Women’s College World Series  losing in three games at Oklahoma State. Gerbracht played for the Cougars from 2012-2015 making the NCAA Tournament from 2012-2014.

Gerbracht playing career ended at the American Conference Tournament Semi-Finals in 2015 in Orlando losing to Tulsa. Gerbracht joined the Cougars softball broadcast in 2016 and is currently in her second season as the Cougars color analyst and also done some play by play on occasion.

Softball Beats Baseball in TV Ratings

Once again College Softball defeated College Baseball this past weekend for most viewers. ESPN2s broadcast of Oregon vs UCLA on Sunday was the most watched College Softball game of the weekend edging out the LSU-Alabama game that aired right before it on Sunday. Oregon-UCLA had 171,000 viewers compared to 161,000 LSU-Alabama game.

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Oregon’s Mike White

Both Softball games scored higher then ESPN2’s College Baseball telecast on Saturday between South Carolina and Vanderbilt which garnered 146,000 viewers.

On April 1st College Softball and Baseball went directly head to head at same time with April 1  Auburn vs Georgia garnering 250,000 viewers on defeating College Baseball game between  Texas AM and LSU on ESPN2 which had 171,000.

Date Time Game Network
March 11 11:30 a.m. Missouri at Florida
ESPNU

105K

  1 p.m. South Carolina at  Tennessee  SEC Network
  3:30 p.m. Mississippi State at  Texas A&M  SEC Network
  6 p.m. Arkansas at Alabama
SEC Network
  8:30 p.m.  LSU at  Auburn
SEC Network
March 12 1 p.m. South Carolina at  Tennessee
SEC Network
  3 p.m. Mississippi State at Texas A&M
SEC Network
  5 p.m.  LSU at Auburn
SEC Network
  6 p.m. Missouri at Florida
ESPNU

99K

March 13 7 p.m.  Missouri at Florida
SEC Network
March 17 6 p.m. Southern at Mississippi Valley State ESPNU

22k

March 18 Noon.  Kentucky at  Georgia SEC Network
March 19 7 p.m.  Kentucky at  Georgia  SEC Network
March 20 7 p.m.  Kentucky at  Georgia SEC Network
March 22 5 p.m. McNeese State at Texas Longhorn Network
  7:30 p.m. North Carolina at  Tennessee SEC Network
March 25 6 p.m.  Ole Miss at  Tennessee SEC Network
  6 p.m.  Auburn at Florida ESPN2

175K

March 26 1 p.m. Missouri at  Texas A&M ESPNU

65k

  7 p.m.  Auburn at Florida ESPN2

226K

March 27 7 p.m.  Auburn at  Florida SEC Network
March 29 7 p.m. Oklahoma State at Arkansas SEC Network
April 1 4 p.m.  Kentucky  at Ole Miss ESPNU

93k

  4 p.m.  Alabama at Missouri  SEC Network
  6 p.m. Texas A&M at South Carolina SEC Network
  7 p.m.  Auburn at Georgia  ESPN

250K

April 2 2 p.m. Houston at Texas Longhorn Network
  4 p.m. Houston at Texas Longhorn Network
  Noon Auburn at  Georgia SEC Network
  2 p.m.  Kentucky at  Ole Miss SEC Network
  2 p.m. Notre Dame at Louisville ESPNU

85K

  7 p.m.  Texas A&M at South Carolina SEC Network
April 3 7 p.m.  Texas A&M at South Carolina SEC Network
  7 p.m. Notre Dame at  Louisville ESPNU

38k

April 5 7 p.m. Western Kentucky at Kentucky SEC Network
April 7 5:30 p.m.  Oklahoma at Texas Longhorn Network
April 8 2 p.m.  Oklahoma at Texas Longhorn Network
  4 p.m.  Ole Miss at  Auburn ESPNU

81k

  9 p.m.  LSU at  Alabama  SEC Network
April 9 1 p.m.  Oklahoma at Texas Longhorn Network
  3 p.m.  LSU at Alabama  ESPN2

161K

  5:00 p.m.  Oregon at UCLA  ESPNU

171K 

  7 p.m.  Georgia at Florida SEC Network
April 10 7 p.m.  Georgia at Florida SEC Network
April 12 7 p.m.  Florida State at  Florida SEC Network
April 13 6 p.m. South Florida at Central Florida ESPNU
April 14 6 p.m. Texas A&M at  Arkansas ESPNU
  3:30 p.m. Savannah State at Florida A&M ESPNU
April 15 6 p.m.  Alabama at Tennessee SEC Network
April 16 3 p.m. Missouri at Auburn ESPN
  7 p.m.  Alabama at  Tennessee SEC Network
April 17 7 p.m.  Alabama at  Tennessee SEC Network
April 19 7 p.m.  Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas SEC Network
  7 p.m. Texas Southern at Texas Longhorn Network
April 21 5:30 p.m. Iowa State at Texas Longhorn Network
April 22 2 p.m. Iowa State at Texas Longhorn Network
  3 p.m. Baylor at Oklahoma ESPN2
  5 p.m.  Oregon at  Arizona ESPN2
  6 p.m.  Georgia at  Texas A&M SEC Network
  8:30 p.m.  Arkansas at Mississippi State SEC Network
April 23 Noon Iowa State at Texas Longhorn Network
  Noon Ole Miss at  Florida SEC Network
  Noon  Florida State at Louisville ESPNU
  1 p.m.  Baylor at  Oklahoma ESPN2
  2 p.m. Tennessee at  LSU SEC Network
  3 p.m.  Oregon at  Arizona  ESPN2
  7 p.m.  Arkansas at Mississippi State SEC Network
April 24 7 p.m.  Arkansas at Mississippi State SEC Network
  7 p.m.  Florida State at Louisville ESPNU
April 26 7 p.m. North Texas at Texas Longhorn Network
April 29 2 p.m. Longwood  at Radford ESPNU
  3 p.m. Texas A&M at  Kentucky SEC Network
  8:p.m. Missouri  at LSU ESPN2
April 30 1 p.m.  Florida at  Tennessee ESPN2
  3 p.m. Missouri at  LSU ESPN2
  6 p.m. Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
  7 p.m. No. 9 Alabama  at Ole Miss SEC Network
May 1 7 p.m.  Alabama  at Ole Miss SEC Network
May 3 5 p.m. Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Texas Longhorn Network
  7 p.m. Southern Miss at Ole Miss SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. Oklahoma at Oklahoma  State ESPNU
May 5 7 p.m. Bases Loaded SEC Network
May 6 4 p.m. Kentucky at Mississippi State SEC Network
  5 p.m.  Oklahoma at Oklahoma  State ESPNU
  6 p.m. LSU at South Carolina SEC Network
  7:30 p.m.  Auburn at Alabama ESPN2
  9 p.m.  Arizona at UCLA ESPNU
May 7 Noon LSU at South Carolina SEC Network
  1 p.m.  Auburn at Alabama ESPN2
  2 p.m.  Baylor  at Texas LHN
  4  p.m.  Arizona  at UCLA ESPN2
May 10 Noon SEC Tournament – First Round SEC Network
  2:30 p.m. SEC Tournament – First Round SEC Network
  5:00 p.m. SEC Tournament – First Round SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. SEC Tournament – First Round SEC Network
May 11 Noon SEC Tournament – Second Round SEC Network
  2:30 p.m. SEC Tournament – Second Round SEC Network
  5:00 p.m. SEC Tournament – Second Round SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. SEC Tournament – Second Round SEC Network
May 12 3:00 p.m. SEC Tournament – Semifinal ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Tournament – Semifinal ESPNU
May 13 Noon American Softball Championship ESPN
  2:00 p.m. ACC Softball Championship ESPN
  8:00 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Championship ESPN

*Air time later than game time

Scott Hall Talks Unique Career at Marshall

 

Scott Hall
Scott Hall is in his 14th season with Marshall Softball (Photo Courtesy of Scott Hall)

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talk to Scott Hall who recently celebrated his 750th game at Marshall. Hall who is currently the Marshall SID discusses his many hats that he has warn in his 14 seasons with Marshall including play by play broadcaster, student manager, graduate manager, volunteer coach, and director of ops with the softball program.

Among the topics Hall discusses in the podcast includes

  • How Scott Hall got involved with Marshall Softball?
  • What drew Hall to the sport of Softball?
  •  Memorable broadcasts of his career
  • Memorable Marshall games
  • Best Non Marshall Softball player Hall has ever seen in person?
  • How Marshall program changed from when Hall started to present?
  • Covering some of greatest Marshall players ever
  • Influence Marshall Head Coach Shonda Stanton had on his career.
  • Being part of Marshall first ever Conference Tournament Championship in 2013 in Tulsa and first NCAA Tournament Appearance.
  • Covering Amanda Williams as a player and coach

 Scott Hall Interview Episode 84

Rachele Fico talks Balancing Coaching and Playing Career

Fico_2
Rachele Fico in her 2nd season as Asst Coach at Georgia. Photo Courtesy of Georgia Athletics.

On this edtion of In The Circle,  Eric Lopez talks to Rachele Fico about coaching in college softball as Fico in her 2nd season as Asst Coach at Georgia. Fico compares coaching to playing softball.  Fico also discusses the following.

FICO_3
Fico was honored in 2015 with Banner at Tiger Park. (Photo by Nick Torina)
  • Who inspired Fico during her softball career?
  • Balancing Coaching with playing in the NPF
  • Advice Fico would give softball players who wants to coach and play
  • What it was like to return to LSU as an opponent in 2015 as Asst coach at South Alabama and get honored before the game?
  • What is it like to coach at Georgia and in the SEC?
  • What is Fico’s Coaching philosophy in coaching pitchers?
  • Reflecting on LSU Career
  • What it was like to return to LSU as an opponent?
  • Playing for Akron Racers
  • Comparing making WCWS as a Player at LSU to making WCWS as an Asst coach at Georgia

   Interview with Rachele Fico Episode 83

Fico was a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American at LSU as well as a three-time NFCA All-South Region First-Team member and three-time all-Southeastern Conference honoree. 
During her freshman season with the Tigers in 2010, Fico was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year. Fico led LSU to the Women’s College World Series in 2012. Fico ended her Tigers career among LSU’s top five in appearances (149), starts (104), complete games (82), innings pitched (774.0), wins (78), saves (8), opposing batting average (0.195), shutouts (32), strikeouts (797) and strikeouts per seven innings (7.21).

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Rachele Fico plays for Akron Racers in the NPF. Photo Courtesy of NPF.

Fico was the the No. 1 draft pick in the  2013 National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Akron Racers where she has played her entire career highlighted by being An All-NPF Team selection in 2014.

While Fico has been playing in the NPF, Fico began her college coaching career  serving as an assistant coach at South Alabama during the 2015 season. Fico helped the Jaguars take the Sun Belt Conference crown and advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA Regional Tournament. Under Fico’s guidance, the USA pitching staff held a 2.51 ERA that was top 30 in the NCAA.

Fico went from South Alabama to Georgia for the 2016 season where in her first year with the Bulldogs, Fico helped the pitching staff to a 2.27 ERA, as the team collected 46 wins. Fico got to work with  Chelsea Wilkinson, who led the SEC with 28 victories and a NFCA All-Region selection. The Bulldogs would advance to the program’s third Women’s College World Series appearance which included knocking off defending National Champions Florida in the Super Regionals in Gainesville.

Here is my Interview with Rachele Fico during her rookie year in the NPF in 2013 as she played with former LSU Teammate Brittany Mack at Akron.