May 12, 2002
LOS ANGELES - The top-ranked UCLA softball team will open its 2002 NCAA tournament play on Thursday, May 16, in Columbia, SC. The Bruins will face sixth-seeded Liberty (28-31). Game times have not yet been announced by South Carolina
UCLA is the overall top seed in the tournament. The bracket is as follows:
No. 1 seed UCLA (50-6)
No. 2 seed Georgia (57-15)
No. 3 seed South Carolina (43-18) HOST SCHOOL
No. 4 seed Eastern Kentucky (36-12)
No. 5 seed UMBC (46-19)
No. 6 seed Liberty (28-31)
Georgia and South Carolina both hail from the Southeastern Conference. Georgia lost the SEC Championship game to LSU earlier on Sunday. Eastern Kentucky and UMBC (Maryland-Baltimore County) were both play-in winners.
With its selection to the 2002 NCAA tournament field, UCLA has now been invited to 19 of a possible 21 Regional Tournaments. The Bruins have won eight NCAA (1982-84-85-88-89-90-92-99) and nine total National Championships (1978 AIAW), and have played in the NCAA Championship game a record 15 times. UCLA won the 1995 NCAA Championship, but its participation in that tournament was later vacated by the NCAA. The Bruins were not invited to the NCAA tournament on two occasions, in 1986, and in 1998, a year in which UCLA was ineligible for postseason play. The Bruins have never faced Liberty on the softball diamond.