Congratulations to Missouri for making the NCAA softball tournament.
It apparently didn’t matter that the Tigers finished 13th out of 13 teams in the Southeastern Conference. (The league’s 14th member, Vanderbilt, doesn’t have a team.)
Missouri went 6-17 in the SEC, but 27-28 overall. The Tigers didn’t even make the SEC tournament, which takes the league’s top 12 finishers.
The key for the Tigers was their ranking in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index, which places as much emphasis on who you play as whether you actually win.
They ranked 24th in the RPI, which was enough for the NCAA to include them in its 64-team tournament.
Look, it’s clear the SEC and Pac-12 are the best softball leagues in the country. The Pac-12 had six in the top 12 of the RPI, which the SEC had 10 of the top 18.
But even the Pac-12, which has nine softball-playing schools, didn’t get all of its teams in the tournament. Stanford (3-21 in the league) and Utah (2-21) didn’t make it.
Perhaps the NCAA softball selection committee should add a small rule to its list of guidelines — no team that finishes last in its league should make the NCAA tournament. No matter where it’s ranked in the RPI.