The Road to Omaha is Easier for Some Than Others
The top-eight seeds in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship all won their Regionals last weekend and automatically earned the right to host Super Regionals this weekend. However, it is important to note that no national seed has won the College Baseball World Series since Rice in 2003.
The Super Regional pairings are as follows:
Three of the four national seeds lost in the opening game on Friday. Miami, Florida State, and Cal State Fullerton were all defeated yesterday and are playing today to avoid elimination. In the meantime, Georgia, the only victorious team, lost the second game of its series to North Carolina State earlier today. The rubber match will be held on Sunday. The other four matchups kick off on Saturday, continue on Sunday, and, if need be, will conclude on Monday.
The winners of the Super Regionals will comprise the eight spots in the College World Series, which starts Friday, June 14 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.
Baseball America's Aaron Fitt has created excellent previews, broken down by the Friday and Saturday start dates. The articles include schedules, TV times, starting lineups, stats, and scouting reports written by college coaches.
Despite being treated harshly by the NCAA selection committee, teams from the West dominated schools from outside the area in last week's Regionals. Bob Keisser, sports columnist and college beat writer for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, broke down the grave injustices yesterday.
There were 14 regional games matching West Coast teams against colleges East of Tempe, and the West outdid itself. They were 14-0.
Keisser suggests that "the NCAA needs to consider seeding the baseball tournament 1-to-64 like they do in basketball and stop lumping teams together automatically by geography." Using RPIs, Keisser seeded the entire field of 64 teams and determined that the 12 West Coast teams would have been "spread across nine regionals as opposed to six, and there would have been no more than two West Coast teams in any one regional." His conclusion? "There's no guarantee that any would have had more success in these brackets, but based on the numbers and avoiding neighbors, one would like their chances."
The four finalists for the 22nd annual Dick Howser Trophy to college baseball's player of the year were named this week. Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham, Missouri pitcher Aaron Crow, Florida State catcher Buster Posey, or Arizona State third baseman Brett Wallace will be presented with this prestigious award in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 14, the first day of the College World Series. All four players were also selected as finalists for the Golden Spikes award, which also goes to the best college player. University of San Diego pitcher Brian Matusz is also a finalist for the latter honor. These five players were among the top 13 picks in the MLB draft on Thursday. All but Crow and Matusz are still playing in the Super Regionals this weekend.