The field is now set for the NCAA Women’s Championship, as the 24 teams and six individuals that will tee it up May 20-23 at Tulsa Country Club were determined Saturday. Here is what You Oughta Know about the NCAA women’s regionals:
• USC, Duke and UCLA have been the top three teams all season – the trio has combined for 17 wins and 28 top 10s – and none received a scare at regionals. UCLA (Central, by 17) and USC (West, by 1) won their regional tournament, while Duke tied for third.
• This was defending NCAA champion USC’s ninth victory of the season, extending its own school record, and its fifth regional title in a row. For UCLA, it was the program’s ninth regional victory in the past 15 years. Meanwhile, with a tie for third, Duke posted its worst result in the past seven events.
• Vanderbilt’s closing 14-under 274 at the East Regional not only broke a single-round school record (by one). It also helped the Commodores post their best-ever 54-hole total of 24-under 840, good enough for a 14-shot victory. After failing to win in each of the past six years, Vanderbilt has now won four times this spring, including both the SEC Championship and regionals.
• The Nos. 5 and 6 seed from each regional failed to advance to the NCAA Championship. That meant the end of the season for Clemson, Wake Forest, Pepperdine, UCF, LSU and Oklahoma State. Clemson was the highest ranked among that group, at No. 13 in the country, but the Tigers failed to break 300 during all three rounds of the West Regional, finishing 15 shots out of the eighth and final spot. Oklahoma State, playing in the Central Regional on its home course (Karsten Creek), lost to Florida in a team playoff for the eighth berth.
• Arkansas, No. 4 in the country, was the highest-ranked team that did not qualify for NCAAs. A two-time winner this season, the Razorbacks opened the Central Regional with a team score of 308, in which every player shot 75 or worse. They ultimately finished two shots out of the No. 8 playoff.
• Arkansas was one of three top-20 teams that fell victim to Karsten Creek, one of the most difficult college courses in the country. Host Oklahoma State (No. 16) and LSU (15) were the other top teams that couldn’t crack the top 8.
• Campbell, at No. 49, was the lowest-ranked team to advance to NCAAs. The Camels hung on to the eighth and final spot in the East Regional, clinching their first NCAA berth since 1997.
• It has been an even longer drought for Kansas, which tied for fifth at the Central Regional to move on to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1990. Iowa State, which tied for fifth in the West, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Championship.