Imagine this scenario…

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have the best record in Division I men’s basketball. They dominate the entire regular season only losing a couple of games. They win the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles going away. Surely that team would be the #1 overall seed for the tournament, right? Well, can you imagine the nationwide furor if they didn’t even get a Top 4 seed in any region? It’d be the biggest story in the country. It’d be non-sensical. It’d be outrageous.

That’s exactly what happened to Minnesota’s softball team.

The Golden Gophers went 54-3 this season and had the best record in the nation. They won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. And they didn’t get a #1 seed, nor did they get any seed at all. Rather, they went unseeded for the tournament, which means that the tournament selection committee didn’t consider them to be one of the top sixteen teams in the nation.

Minnesota’s reward for a 54-win season? They get to travel to Tuscaloosa to play in the section with #16 seed Alabama, who went 42-16 this season.

What’s even worse is that if Minnesota gets through the Alabama section, their reward is the opportunity to play the committee’s #1 overall seed for the entire tournament – the Florida Gators.

I’m not going to pretend to be a college softball expert, but this seems insane, especially considering Minnesota was just in the NCAA’s Top 10 teams just a couple weeks ago. The Gophers are officially ranked 2nd in the nation behind Florida.

Softball and baseball are generally dominated by schools in the south and west, but the Big Ten aren’t afterthoughts in college softball. Michigan was ranked #17 this year, has a College World Series victory on their resume in 2005, and just made the CWS last year. Nevermind that though, how do you mysteriously drop a team more than 10 spots when they don’t even lose a game? What’s the point of releasing your own rankings if… you know… you’re not going to follow them.

It’s one thing if you want to knock Minnesota down a peg or two because you don’t think they played enough elite teams to prove themselves. They’re only ranked #12 in softball’s RPI rankings. But they won the Big 10 title and last I checked that’s still considered a major conference no matter what sport you’re playing. To think there’s not room amongst the top sixteen teams in the country for the school with the best record in the nation is ludicrous.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.