The 64-team field and 16 regional hosts for this year's NCAA tournament were announced tonight (link). The No. 1 and 2 seedings of Florida and Michigan, respectively, were no surprise, even with each losing in its respective conference tournament (SEC, B1G). Oklahoma at No. 3 caught me a little off-guard. The Sooners had been ranked fifth and tied for fourth in the most recent national polls, did not compile a particularly stunning nonconference resume (notwithstanding a single win over Alabama), and played in a conference, the Big 12, which was down this year.
Anyway, below is my annual plotting of where teams are headed in the NCAA tourney. Each map depicts five or six of the regions, for optimal visibility. I have used a new method to create my maps this year, thanks to the free plotting website BatchGeo.
First is a map of the Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, James Madison, Kentucky, and LSU regional sites, each with its own color code (see bottom of map). Teams in the Alabama region, for example, are depicted in red (Alabama, Samford, Texas State, and Cal). You can place your cursor over any "balloon" to see the identity of the team.
View 2016 NCAA Softball Regions 1 in a full screen map
The next map shows the Michigan, Missouri (Mizzou), Oregon, Oklahoma (OU), and Tennessee regional sites. The Oregon region (green) may take the cake for the greatest geographical dispersion (Oregon, Long Beach State, Baylor, and the Bronx, New York-based Fordham).
View 2016 NCAA Softball Regions 2 in a full screen map
Finally, we have a map of the UCLA, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Washington regional sites. The UCLA regional (red) has teams entirely from southern and central California (UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Bakersfield, and Fresno State), so there is considerable overlap in the balloons. The Florida region (blue) is also pretty compact, but not as much UCLA's.
View 2016 NCAA Softball Regions 3 in a full screen map