BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament bracket was announced Sunday night and the state of Alabama is well represented, placing five teams and four conference winners in the tournament.
The Auburn Tigers are the highest seeded of all the teams, earning the No. 4 overall seed, which means the rights to host a Regional as well as a Super Regional if the Tigers advance that far. This is the second straight season Auburn will host a Regional. They enter the NCAA Tournament as the SEC Champion for the second straight year, as well.
Auburn will face Jacksonville State in their first game. The Gamecocks won the Ohio Valley Conference title Saturday. The winner of the Auburn/JSU game will face off against the winner of Oregon State vs. South Carolina-Upstate.
The Alabama Crimson Tide earned the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament, also gaining the rights to host a Regional and Super Regional. The Tide are in their 18th-straight NCAA Tournament, hosting their 12th-straight Regional, and have won 11 straight Regionals.
Alabama will face off against Samford in the Bulldogs first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Samford won the Southern Conference championship Saturday, the first conference title for Samford since 1991. Alabama and Samford played each other earlier this season with the Tide winning 10-0.
The Alabama-Samford winner will advance to the winner’s bracket to play the winner of Texas State vs. California.
Alabama State won the SWAC title and were placed in the Gainesville Regional against No. 1 overall seed Florida. The Hornets take on the Gators Friday afternoon. Florida Atlantic and Central Florida are the other two teams in the Gainesville Regional.