The 2012 NCAA softball tournament begins on Thursday. Here are my picks of who will make it to Oklahoma City and become this season’s champion.
Regional Round –
Pick: 1 California, the Bears are the best team in the country and will make the super regionals.
Sleeper Team: Arkansas, the Hogs play in the SEC so which means they won’t be intimidated
Pick: 16 Washington, I don’t see much resistance for the Huskies in their home regional so they move on.
Sleeper Team: Texas Tech, playing in the Big XII will help so I put the sleeper tag on the Red Raiders.
Pick: 9 Missouri, again the home team should have easy sledding getting out of their own regional.
Sleeper Team: DePaul, I know what you’re thinking … really? The Blue Demons have made the WCWS recently so watch out.
College Station Regional
Pick: Texas State, I’ve seen the Bobcats as a trendy pick to make it out of this regional. Having seen Texas State last year I’ll join the bandwagon to do so.
Sleeper Team: LSU, Having picked an upset in this regional you must be a little surprised seeing me pick the other half of this first round match-up.
Pick: 5 Florida, I guess it’s time to advance an SEC into the super regionals and the Gators are one of the best teams nationally.
Sleeper Team: South Florida, I wouldn’t be surprised if Central Florida raised some noise here also.
Los Angeles Regional
Pick: Florida State, yes I’m going against the 12 seed UCLA at home but the Seminoles will escape from LA.
Sleeper Team: San Diego State, the record is 30-22 but playing out west your tested which I’m banking on.
Pick: 13 Arizona, it was tempting not to pick Notre Dame in this regional but ‘Zona is tradionally tough at home.
Sleeper Team: Notre Dame, I know Hawai’i has the best record of the four teams but the Irish are just as solid.
Pick: 4 Oklahoma, I’d love to pick Tulsa to come out of these regional but OU is just too strong in my opinion.
Sleeper Team: Tulsa, I just mentioned the Golden Hurricanes which makes them perfect as a sleeper candidate.
Pick: 3 Arizona State, yes another Pac12 team making my SR but the Sun Devils have little competition and a great team.
Sleeper Team: Long Beach State, again west coast teams catch my attention in this sport due to how historically they’ve done.
Pick: 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, I admit I don’t know much about this team but they are playing at home, have only lost four times on the year which is good for me.
Sleeper Team: Stanford, of the eight teams from the Pac12 six of them got home regionals which I think puts a chip on the Cardinal’s shoulder.
Pick: 11 Oregon, the Ducks are good at home plus I think the NCAA helped them out here none-the-less they move on.
Sleeper Team: BYU, while Mississippi State isn’t a bad pick the Cougars have been solid this season so I saw keep them in mind.
Pick: 6 Texas, the Longhorns at McComb Field are tough in addition they lost in this round last season so that should motivate them as well.
Sleeper Team: Houston, last season the Cougars lost in the SR at Oklahoma State after coming out of this regional.
Pick: 7 Tennessee, every year the Vols make a deep run so picking them is easy to do.
Sleeper Team: Virginia Tech, this ACC team is perennially one of the best in their league and could do big things in this regional.
Pick: 10 Georgia, I’ll take the Bulldogs at home because they play in one of the best conferences in addition to being at home.
Sleeper Team: North Carolina, see what I wrote about VT in the previous regional.
Pick: 15 Louisville, the Cardinals have torn through everything this season and they should do so this weekend also.
Sleeper Team: Michigan, the Wolverines are yearly the best team in the Big Ten and won’t be star struck.
Pick: 2 Alabama, the Crimson Tide won the SEC plus are around every single year and this season is no exception.
Sleeper Team: Georgia Tech, I watched the Yellow Jackets last weekend on TV and that was enough to pick them as a sleeper here.