Nationals Arm Race

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CWS Super Regional Results and CWS Field

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Here’s a quick look at the College Baseball Super Regionals, which finished up on 6/11/13 due to the crazy rain the east coast has seen.

Previous Links on the CWS this year:

  • My original Field-of-64 thoughts are here.
  • My Regional review and super-regional preview is here.
  • My favorite no-frills just data College Baseball site is d1baseball.com, where I go for all the results

Super-Regional Results (in the order in which these teams line up for the CWS)

  • #1 UNC d #16 South Carolina: UNC looked like a vulnerable #1 seed after getting blown out 8-0 to force a 3rd Super Regional game, but squeaked out the 5-4 victory on  tuesday to become the last team to advance and complete the CWS field.
  • #9 NC State defeated Rice: NC State rocks some 1980′s style uniforms and squeaks past Rice in 2 straight to punch its CWS ticket.
  • #12 UCLA defeated #5 Cal State Fullerton: UCLA wins a tight  regional in 2 straight to advance.
  • #4 LSU defeated Oklahoma: LSU gets a win over 1st round draftee Jonathan Grey and then blitzes Oklahoma in the second game to advance.
  • #11 Mississippi State upsets #6 Seed UVA two straight on the road.   They didn’t seem that troubled by UVA’s squad frankly; was UVA overseeded?  Or is the SEC just that deeper a conference?
  • #3 Oregon State v #14 Kansas State overcomes a first game loss to take the set 4-3 on Monday.
  • #10 Indiana defeated #7 Florida State: Indiana was never scared of a Florida State team that blized through its own regional and went punch for punch in this high scoring regional, winning 2 straight in Tallahassee to advance.  This is the first time a Big 10 team has made the CWS since 1984.
  • #15 Louisville defeated #2 Vanderbilt; this may have looked like an upset by the seedings, but Louisville’s two dominant starters controlled Vanderbilt’s offense for most of these two games and Louisville advances.

So, at the end of the Super Regionals only 3 of the 8 national seeds advanced, but they’re 3 of the 4 favorites heading into the tournament.  To me the only significant upset in the super regionals was Vanderbilt getting beat, though they’ve shown a propensity to falter early when seeded well (see 2007 when they entered the tournament as the #1 overall seed and had ace David Price but lost in their own regional to Michigan).

CWS Preview (reminder of format: each of these four groups will play a double elimination mini-tourney amongst themselves to arrive at a finalist for the Championship 3-game set):

Conference Distribution:

  • Big 10: Indiana, Regular and Post Season Champ
  • Big East: Louisville: Regular Season Champ
  • Pac-12: Oregon State, Regular Season Champ.
  • Pac-12: UCLA: 3rd Place Regular Season
  • ACC: UNC: 1st Place Coastal Division Regular Season, Post Season ACC Champ.
  • ACC: NC State: 2nd Place Atlantic Division Regular Season
  • SEC: LSU: 1st Place Western Division regular season, Post Season SEC champ
  • SEC: Mississippi State: 3rd place Western Division regular season

Two teams each from the 3 power baseball conferences and then the undisputed champs of two lesser conferences.  There’s some good distribution of conference champions in the CWS; 5 of the 8 teams are their conference’s Regular Season champions.  Non Regular Season champs UCLA and NC State advance in at the expense of perennially over-seeded Rice and Cal-State Fullerton.   Mississippi State advances in a SEC-ACC showdown over UVA that was probably closer on paper than their ranks and seeds may have indicated.

Fun Fact: Speaking of the ACC; A member of the ACC (not counting Miami, who wasn’t in the ACC at the time of their recent victories) has not won the College World Series since Wake Forest’ 1955 victory.   Despite being considered the best or 2nd best conference out there.  And honestly, I don’t see an ACC team winning this year either; UNC may be the #1 seed but they’ve struggled the whole post season.

  • Pot 1: UNC, NC State, UCLA, LSU
  • Pot 2: Mississippi State, Oregon State, Indiana, Louisville

CWS Predictions:

  • In Pot 1, We get a fun intra-state opening game of UNC-NC State (they split the regular season matchups and then UNC beat them in the ACC tournament).  LSU should take out a weaker UCLA, giving us a great potential UNC-LSU winners bracket showdown.  Frankly, I think LSU easily advances when all is said and done; they should have been a higher seed after winning the SEC championship over Vanderbilt, they’ve showed they can beat one of the best arms in the country in Jonathan Grey, and I think they’ve got what it takes to win it all.
  • Pot 2 has three unexpected teams and a clear favorite in Oregon State.   I’ll take Oregon State to hold serve against Mississippi State and I’ll take Louisville in the opener over surprising Indiana.  After that, I think Louisville continues to lean on their two big starters and eventually advances to the title game.

In the title game I’ll take LSU over Louisville; after watching LSU in the super regional I think they’re the best team playing the best ball right now heading into Omaha.

Click here for the complete CWS broadcast schedule.

Written by Todd Boss

June 12th, 2013 at 8:21 am

Posted in College/CWS

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