With much uncertainty surrounding the regional assignment decisions in the new postseason format—who participates in the play-in meets, who is assigned to which semifinal within each site, the seeded-host conflicts—this selection announcement is millions of times more interesting than in past years, when we would just be waiting to see whose name would be mispronounced. And the answer was everyone’s.
First, the draw. Then we’ll dissect it as a family.
Reminder, the top 2 teams advance out of each semifinal to the regional final the next day. From that regional final, the top 2 teams advance to nationals.
 NC State vs.  New Hampshire
 Iowa State
Winner of NC State and New Hampshire
Danielle Mulligan, New Hampshire
Rachael Underwood, Western Michigan
Vault – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Drew Grantham, NC State; Mikayla Robinson, UNC; Ariana Castrence, Temple; Alexa Phillips NC State; Nicole O’Leary, UNH
Bars – Lauren Kent, NC State; Jessica Wang, Yale; Mei Li Costa, Brown; Morgan Spence, WMU
Beam – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Monica Servidio, Temple; Brittany West, Pittsburgh
Floor – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Belle Huang, Rutgers; India Anderson, Temple; Alexa Phillips, NC State
OREGON STATE REGIONAL
 Iowa vs.  Arizona
 Boise State
 Southern Utah
 Oregon State
Winner of Iowa v. Arizona
Madison Ward-Sessions, Utah State
Taylor Chan, San Jose State
Kelley Hebert, UC Davis
Vault – Maddi Leydin, Arizona; Heather Swanson, Arizona
Bars – Christina Berg, Arizona; Anna Salamone, Air Force; Nicole Chow, Iowa; Makayla Bullitt, Utah St; Danielle Spencer, Arizona; Jax Kranitz, Iowa
Beam – Sophia Hyderally, Alaska; Clair Kaji, Iowa; Autumn DeHarde, Utah St; Haylie Hendrickson, Arizona; Alyssa Ito, UC Davis; Yasmine Yektaparast, UC Davis
Floor – Lauren Guerin, Iowa; Christina Berg, Arizona; Clair Kaji, Iowa; Maddi Leydin, Arizona; Autumn DeHarde, Utah St
 George Washington vs.  Lindenwood
 Arizona State
Winner of George Washington v. Lindenwood
Alex Zois, George Washington
Jovannah East, Bowling Green
Lea Mitchell, Michigan State
Vault – Julianna Roland, Bridgeport; Stephanie Schweikert, Ball State; Lauren DeMeno, Bowling Green; Marissa Nychyk, Ball State
Bars – Kathryn Doran, Bridgeport; Jessica Ling, Michigan State
Beam – Hannah Cohen, George Washington; Courtney Mitchell, Lindenwood; Erin Alderman, TWU
Floor – Gabriella Douglas, Michigan State; Kaitlyn Menzione, Ball State; Anna Kaziska, SEMO
 Illinois vs.  Central Michigan
 Penn State
 Ohio State
 West Virginia
Winner of Illinois v. Central Michigan
Mary Jane Otto – Illinois
Denelle Pedrick – Central Michigan
Karen Howell – Illinois
Emili Dobronics – Eastern Michigan
Vault – Kasey Meeks, Illinois; Kayla Baddeley, UIC; Allie Smith, EMU; Riley Mahoney, UIC
Bars – Serena Baker, UIC; Cortney Bezold, EMU; Gianna Paska, CMU; Dara Williams, Kent State
Beam – Mia Lord, NIU; Shaylah Scott, Illinois; Emerson Hurst, Towson; Mary Elle Arduino, Towson
Floor – Anna Martucci, NIU; Abby Fletcher, Kent State; Kylie Noonan, Illinois; Alisa Sheremeta, UIC
I am at least pleased to see that they adhered to the rankings to some degree with the play-ins, and a team in the top 28 wasn’t forced into a play-in while a team in the 29-36 zone missed out. Because then it would have been hell. That said…
Who got royally neck-punched:
–Illinois and Central Michigan: The two best teams in the Thursday play-ins have been drawn to compete against each other. Both would have been favored to advance out of pretty much any other pairing.
–Arkansas: The #20 team in the country, and the fourth-best team in the entirety of the geographical placement group, is the #4 seed in its semifinal because it also got placed with #17 BYU and the two seeded teams. Meanwhile teams like #27 West Virginia and #28 Maryland are the #3 seeds in their semifinals.
The other group of death members: Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa State is a semifinal. Utah, Minnesota, BYU, and Arkansas is a semifinal. Not a fun draw for anyone in those.
–The #2 and #3 seeds in each regional: If you look at the rankings of the teams placed into each regional semifinal group, the #2, #3, #5, and #6 ranked teams all are in the same semifinal. While the #1, #4, #7, and #8-9 get the other semifinal. Meaning that most of the #2 and #3 seeds at each site got worse draws than the #4 seeds and have tough paths just to get out of Friday, let alone get to nationals.
–Everyone in the LSU regional: The weakest seeded team there is #21 Arizona State. Yikes.
Who got a unicorn cupcake rainbow bridge:
–George Washington and Lindenwood: The two lowest-ranked teams at regionals get the opportunity to play each other in the Thursday play-in, with one of them advancing to Friday.
–The #4 seeds: What could have been a tough placement is instead pretty nice for #4 seeds like Cal and Nebraska, who should comfortably advance to Saturday out of their semifinal sessions. Then it gets reeeeee-ough, but it was always going to. The Friday draw couldn’t really have been any better for those two.
Michigan regional final (potentially): UCLA, Michigan, Alabama, Nebraska. Two advance. Yessssssss.