The Road to Oklahoma City starts here.


D1Softball Bracketology: Preseason 2024

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College softball’s longest-active and premier Bracketologist is bringing his talents to D1Softball. Eric Lopez, who has projected postseason brackets for more than a decade, will contribute D1Softball Bracketology throughout the season.

It’s never too early to think about the road to Oklahoma City. The regular season begins on Thursday, but even before a pitch is thrown, here’s a look at what the NCAA tournament field might look like in May.

The Field

ConferenceTotal TeamsSchools
SEC12Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M
PAC 127Stanford, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State
ACC5Florida State, Clemson, Duke, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Big 125Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, UCF
Big Ten4Nebraska, Minnesota, Northwestern, Indiana
American3Wichita State, Charlotte, North Texas
Mountain West2San Diego State, Boise State
Sun Belt 2Louisiana, Texas State
ASUN1Central Arkansas
America East1UMBC
A101Saint Louis
Big East1UConn
Big Sky1Idaho State
Big South1Longwood
Big West1Cal State Fullerton
Conference USA1Liberty
Horizon League1Oakland
Ivy League1Harvard
MAC1Miami Ohio
MEAC1NC Central
Missouri Valley1Northern Iowa
Northeast1Saint Francis
Ohio Valley1Eastern Illinois
Patriot League1Boston University
SoCon1UNC Greensboro
Summit League1Omaha
SWAC1Prairie View A&M
WAC1Grand Canyon
West Coast1Loyola Marymount

At-Large Predictions

In these preseason predictions, eight conferences will get multiple teams into the NCAA tournament. The SEC leads the way with twelve teams in the postseason, followed by the PAC-12 (7), Big 12 (5), ACC (5), and Big Ten (4).

We’re projecting a 3-bid year for the new-look American Conference, including their conference champion and automatic qualifier, with the Mountain West and Sun Belt also receiving multiple bids by the same measure.

For historical comparison, there were five mid-major conferences that received an at-large bid in 2023. The SEC placed 12 teams in that edition of the NCAA tournament, while the PAC-12 and the ACC each placed six teams. The Big 12 and Big Ten were each represented by four teams during last postseason.

The Bubble, Possibly

Last Five In: Texas State, Arizona State, Mississippi State, North Texas, Boise State

First Five Out: California, Ole Miss, Michigan, South Alabama, South Dakota State

Hosting Opportunities

The Locked

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Texas
  3. Tennessee
  4. Georgia
  5. Stanford
  6. Nebraska
  7. Florida State
  8. Duke

The Loaded

  1. Clemson
  2. UCLA
  3. Washington

The Likelys

  1. Arkansas
  2. LSU
  3. Oregon
  4. Baylor
  5. Alabama

The Lingerers

  1. Oklahoma State
  2. Louisiana
  3. Auburn
  4. Virginia Tech