Soon after the conference tourneys finished up, the field of 64 was announced. Earlier this week we reviewed the college season for all DC local teams; now lets talk about the field of 64.
This post at d1baseball.com has a great amount of information. Here’s your top 16 seeds (each a regional host).
- UCLA (42-14); Pac-12 regular season champ (no post-season tourney)
- LSU (48-10); SEC Western Division regular season champ
- Louisville (43-16): ACC Atlantic Division regular season champ
- Florida (44-16): 2nd place, SEC Eastern division, SEC tourney champs
- Miami (Florida) (44-14): ACC Coastal Division regular season champ
- Illinois (47-8-1); Big10 regular season champ (21-1 in conference record),
- TCU (43-11): Big12 regular season champion
- Missouri State (45-10): MVC regular season and tourney champs.
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- Dallas Baptist
- Florida State
- Cal-State Fullerton
- UC Santa Barbara
Top8 thoughts: in no particular order
- I don’t think UCLA is better than the handful of teams ranked below it. They played just 8 games against top 25 teams all year and went 4-4 in them. Teams from the SEC and the Big12 played twice as many quality games and had far better records.
- For my money, I would have picked one of the SEC teams, likely LSU, as my #1. And I would have had the other (Florida) as #2.
- Louisville seems about where they should be … and were given a very, very easy regional.
- I don’t know what to think of Miami or Dallas Baptist (the top two teams by RPI most of the year). Miami’s ACC division was weak but Miami played a very tough schedule. Are they under seeded or over seeded? Either way, Miami was given a very easy regional and these two RPI wonders (if seeds hold) are set to meet in the super-regional.
- Illinois will be quickly exposed despite their lofty record (Strength of schedule: 175!). They have a sneaky #2 seed in Notre Dame in their regional for an interesting geographical matchup.
- Missouri State is a good story, but unlike their basketball breatheren I think MVC’s participants will also get exposed.
Seeds 9-16: still regional hosts but will travel if the higher seed wins.
- TAMU is a heck of a good team; i’d favor them over Missouri State in a super regional.
- Florida State played the 6th hardest schedule and had a 10-6 record against top 25 teams; and they’re just#13 overall? And, to add insult to injury they have to travel to arch rival Florida in a super-regional to advance? Wow. Someone at Florida State must have pissed off a committee member. That being said, pundits seem to think Florida State is chronically over-rated (as are teams like Rice and Cal State Fullerton), so perhaps 13 seed is good.
- Houston’s regional is a fun one: three teams within Houston city limits.
- Is UC Santa Barbara more than just Dillon Tate? We’ll find out.
- Lots of griping about the selection of UC Santa Barbara as a “host.” Instead of playing on-campus, they’re hosting 3 hours away at the Lake Elsinore stadium (host of the Padres’ high-A affiliate). Lots of people asking why not name College of Charleston as the host and then have UVA and Maryland be its 2/3 seeds, instead of forcing the two east coast teams to fly across the country?
Local teams and teams of interest in the draw with comments:
- Maryland, a #3 seed, travels to Los Angeles to be in the #1 seed’s division. Tough draw for them. But probably appropriate seeding. Pundits think Maryland was one of the last teams in.
- UVA, also gets a #3 seed and has to travel to Santa Barbara. UVA is not a #3 seed; they had worked their way back to the fringes of the top 25 by season’s end, and in RPI they finished #21. That’s the upper end of the #2 seeds, not a #3 seed who is forced to travel 3,000 miles. Now that being said, they get a very winnable regional. UC Santa Barbara may only have one arm and USC is about even with UVA.
- College of Charleston (and Ashburn’s Taylor Clarke) get a #2 seed (well deserved; they were almost a host) but have to go to Florida State (tough). See commentary above.
- VCU heads to Dallas for Dallas Baptist’s regional, which also has traditional powerhouse Texas thrown in as a #3 seed. Ouch.
- Radford gets a #2 seed (??) but heads to Vanderbilt’s regional, who I have as a dark horse to make the CWS.
- UNC got screwed; probably the last team out. Ask yourself; do you think UNC loses to Maryland in a three-game neutral site series? Yeah, I don’t think so either. RPI of 28 and left out; that’s apparently the 2nd highest RPI of a team left out in a decade. 7th hardest schedule. But if you look at the ACC standings … every team that finished with a .500 or better conference record made the field, and every other team did not. UNC’s conference record? 13-16. If they don’t get swept in their last two conference seasons, they’re in the field.
- Of the top 8 hosts, I don’t see many upsets. I could see Notre Dame taking out #6 Illinois. I could see NC State giving #7 TCU issues. I’d also say that Missouri State is in trouble .. but their 2/3 seeds don’t seem to scare anyone (Iowa and Oregon).
- Of the 9-16 seeds, I can see Cal State Fullerton getting into trouble, and I could see a scenario where practically anyone could come out of the Santa Barbara regional. I’m not sure I think Dallas Baptist is good enough to beat two power-houses in Oregon State and Texas.