The FAU softball team found itself in the unusual predicament of winning its conference championship on Saturday only to learn on Sunday it was left out of the NCAA Tournament.

Because of an NCAA technicality, the Sun Belt champion won’t receive an automatic bid to the tournament until next season because it hasn’t had six teams for at least two seasons. The Sun Belt has nine teams now. However, the Owls were not only the Sun Belt’s tournament champion, they were the regular-season champion as well. That should have been enough to give FAU the benefit of the doubt for the selection committee when considering its final at-large berths.

According to, the Owls had an RPI of 43 through Friday’s games. That’s two spots higher than the University of Pacific, which finished second in the Big West - a conference that does not have a conference tournament - and made the field. Did the committee get confused on which team near an ocean should be playing and which one should be wondering if there is a NIT in softball?

It is also stings that a Sun Belt team, University of Louisiana, made the field while the conference champion is left out. Truthfully, the Ragin’ Cajuns deserve to go. However one can't help but go back to what even then seemed like a crucial series when the UL came to Boca Raton.

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By Marcus Nelson