Monday, May 17, 2010

Here is my annual geo-spatial diagram of regional assignments for the 2010 NCAA women's softball tournament, with state shapes modified to reflect population (the conventional style bracket is available here). On my map, numbers represent seedings and host schools are underlined. To avoid excessive criss-crossing of arrows, I've made notes around the perimeter to indicate teams traveling a long distance. I haven't done a rigorous comparison to other years, but it really seems as though the NCAA kept a large number of regions geographically compact, perhaps to save travel money in the present economic climate. You can click on the map to enlarge it.

The seedings that jumped out at me were Alabama's rise to No. 1, Washington's placement at No. 3, and Arizona's plummet to No. 10. Regarding the latter, someone on the Ultimate College Softball discussion board suggested that the Wildcats' top two pitchers are not at full strength, hence the team's demotion.