College Women

A look at the NCAA Women's Championship field

UCLA head coach Carrie Forsyth (second from left) celebrates with her team after winning the national championship.
UCLA head coach Carrie Forsyth (second from left) celebrates with her team after winning the national championship. ( Tracy Wilcox )

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lance Ringler’s Women’s NCAA primer

May 22-25, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Nashville, Tenn.

• • •

The field of 24

The NCAA Championship field, in order of Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking:

  • 1. UCLA
  • 2. Alabama
  • 3. USC
  • 4. Arizona State
  • 5. LSU
  • 6. North Carolina
  • 8. Duke
  • 9. Vanderbilt
  • 10. Colorado
  • 12. Florida
  • 15. Tennessee
  • 16. Texas AM
  • 17. Baylor
  • 19. South Carolina
  • 20. Ohio State
  • 21. Michigan State
  • 23. Pepperdine
  • 24. North Carolina State
  • 25. Virginia
  • 26. Texas
  • 28. Oklahoma
  • 29. Purdue
  • 31. Arkansas
  • 34. Stanford

• • •

Ringler’s Fab 5

1. UCLA: Bruins have placed first or second in 10 of 11 events, including a six-shot Fall Preview victory. Clearly the favorite.

2. USC: Trojans dominated the Central Regional and have played very well this spring, with five top-2 finishes in seven starts.

3. Alabama: Being an NCAA favorite is starting to become a trend for the Crimson Tide, but does ’Bama believe it can win?

4. LSU: The nation’s fifth-ranked team has momentum after sharing the crown with UCLA at the West Regional.

5. Vanderbilt: Commodores get this spot because they are playing on their home course. Stranger things have happened.

• • •

Overachiever

Baylor: Not many people expected the Bears to accomplish what they have – three victories and six other top-5 finishes – under first-year head coach Jay Goble. They finished last season ranked No. 70.

• • •

Underachiever

North Carolina: Hard to say about a team ranked No. 6, but the Tar Heels were regarded before the season as a national-title contender. Instead, UNC failed to post a tournament victory and squeaked into the field with a seventh-place regional finish.

• • •

Number crunching

Baylor and North Carolina State are the only teams of the 24 in the field that did not earn a bid to regionals last year.

Arkansas was one of eight at-large teams to be invited to regionals with a head-to-head record below .500. And the Razorbacks were the only one to move on to the NCAA Championship. Arkansas’ average finish in 10 starts this year: 9.7.

Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school to advance to the NCAA Championship.