Vandy Headed to NCAA Regional

Commodores will compete in Michigan

by Rod Williamson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt was awarded the No. 3 seed for the upcoming NCAA Championship and assigned the Lansing (Michigan) Regional as the NCAA Bowling Committee announced its 16-team field Wednesday.

Joining Vanderbilt in Lansing are Alabama State, Arkansas State and Youngstown State. The Commodores, fresh off their successful defense of the Southland Bowling League championship, will meet Alabama State, champions of the Southwest Athletic Conference, in the opening mega-match April 8.

“You expect to play tough competition in the NCAA tournament and we have three very good teams in our regional,” Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said. “One thing that kind of jumps off the page for us is our familiarity with those three programs. We played Alabama State this season at Tulane and they were at our home tournament. We’ve played them frequently in recent years.

“And of course Arkansas State and Youngstown are members of our conference and we see them often.”

The NCAA Committee made McKendree the tournament’s top seed and sent the Bearcats to the Erie Regional. Nebraska was the second-seed and is headed to Rochester, New York, while Sam Houston State was accorded the fourth top seed and will compete in Arlington, Texas.

Vanderbilt has faced all three teams in its regional this season and is particularly familiar with the two Southland Bowling League teams, Arkansas State and Youngstown. The Commodores handed the Red Wolves a defeat less than a week ago at the SBL Championship and beat Youngstown in the SBL championship match.

First round matches in Lansing are schedule for 9 a.m. April 8.

The four regions will determine a single regional champion by double-elimination, mega-match format that includes traditional and Baker games and, if necessary to break ties, a best-of-seven Baker contest. Those four regional winners will meet April 15-16 in Columbus, Ohio, to crown the 2022 national champion.

Eight of the teams in this year’s field are automatic conference qualifiers, similar to Vanderbilt as the SBL champion. Eight teams are at-large picks based on the committee’s assessment of their overall season.

The powerful Southland Bowling League placed six of its eight members in the 16-team field. Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Louisiana Tech are clustered together in the Arlington regional along with North Carolina A&T.

Other programs getting invitations include Bowie State, Mount St. Mary’s, Medaille, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wilmington and Sacred Heart.

Vanderbilt’s invitation is the 16th consecutive year the Commodores have been included in bowling’s Big Dance.

More information can be found on