And the women’s magic number is . . .
What is it going to take to get into the women’s postseason?
This year, it became a little easier on the women’s side with the increase in field sizes for the women’s regionals. Three teams were added to each of the three regionals to bring the total number of teams to 72 (24 teams per site).
Tweny-five conference champions will be granted automatic qualifying spots, or AQs. This leaves room for 47 at-large bids.
What will the magic number be this year for the women? If there are no upsets in the conference championships, the magic number will be 64, which means a team will need to be one of the top 64 teams in the country in order to be invited as an at-large team.
• NCAA selection day for women's postseason
• NCAA West Regional at Stanford Golf Course Palo Alto, Calif.
• NCAA Central Region at Otter Creek G. C. Columbus, Ind.
• NCAA East Regional atIronwood C.C. Greenville, N.C.
• NCAA Women's Championship at CC of Landfall - Dye Course, Wilmington, N.C.
I predict eight conference championships will be won by schools that weren’t in line for an at-large bid: Big Sky, Horizon League, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southland, SWAC and the Summit League. None of the conferences have any teams ranked inside the magic number.
We don’t often see huge upsets in conference championships, but it does happen now and then. Last year, for example, Stetson finished ahead of Campbell and East Tennessee State in the Atlantic-Sun Conference and took an at-large spot away from the field by earning the A-Sun’s AQ.
There are five leagues where just one team is ranked well enough to get an at-large spot. If you are a bubble team and don’t win your league title, then you need to pull for these teams to win their conference championship:
• Big South: Coastal Carolina
• Colonial Athletic Association: Georgia State
• Ivy League: Harvard
• Mid-American: Kent State
• Sun Belt: Denver
Accordingly, this makes the bubble range from 59 to 64 in the rankings. So if you are one of the top 59 teams in women’s college golf come selection day, you are a lock.
My prediction: I will allow room for one upset this year and say the Magic Number will be 63.