Sunday, May 04, 2008

Starting at the top of the national rankings, Arizona State scored a 5-2 victory over UCLA this afternoon, putting the Sun Devils (16-2) one game ahead of the Bruins (15-3) in the Pac 10 standings. The folks on the Left Coast don't play a conference tournament, so next weekend will feature three more games of league play for each team.

In the other major conferences covered on this blog, the regular season is now over and tournament action will be getting underway. Here is a roundup:

BIG 10

Michigan and Northwestern each won out this weekend, leaving the two teams tied. According to this Northwestern press release:

NU tied Michigan atop the conference standings this year with an 18-2 record, and after all tiebreakers between the two came out equal, the Wildcats won the official coin toss conducted by the Big Ten Conference office to determine the host of the postseason tournament.

The tournament runs this upcoming Thursday-Saturday, with the bracket available via the Northwestern softball page.

BIG 12

Texas A&M wrapped up the regular-season title a few days ago. The Aggies will thus headline the conference tournament field in Oklahoma City competing Friday-Sunday.

(Following up on an item from yesterday, Texas Tech failed to reach .500 in league play, losing today to Oklahoma State, but nevertheless enters the tournament with a respectable No. 6 seed.)

SEC

A nice overview page for the SEC's conference tourney (coming up Thursday-Saturday) is available here. Although the SEC softball page reports the standings separately for teams in the conference's Eastern and Western Divisions, the team with the best record in league play is nevertheless considered the SEC's overall regular-season champion (with the conference tourney seeded accordingly). Here is a synopsis from the SEC site:

The [Florida] Gators [No. 2 in one of the national polls] clinched the conference title by sweeping the No. 12 Tennessee Lady Vols in the final series of the regular season and posted a 27-1 record. Nationally top-ranked Alabama [in one of the polls] was upset by Georgia and finished second in the league with a 25-3 record.

I encourage everyone to check out the conference and team webpages in the links section on the right, to find out when your favorite teams are playing and learn about the available television coverage of the conference tournaments.