Yes, for Wolfpack Baseball the season came to an abrupt and painful end on Monday night in Fort Worth, TX, already known as “Black Monday” in my own personal brain.
Yes, most of us are still reeling from, and maybe even still trying to comprehend, exactly what we witnessed in the last three innings of that game.
And yes, as silly as it might seem to a ‘normal’ person, I still am strugging to assuage myself of the guilt I feel for bringing the baseball gods down on the Pack9 Monday night in such swift, punishing and unforgiving fashion.
Consider this the first meaningful step of my attempts at placation of those fickle bitches and mitigation of my offenses.
It makes sense to me at least. And yes, I’m at least partially serious.
Despite the fact that the Pack9’s three inning dumpster fire cost them a trip to the NCAA Baseball Tourney’s Super Regional round, for the true baseball fans amongst us there is still quite a bit of good baseball to be played, with some compelling matchups/storylines having developed headed into the round of 16.
First, let’s have a peek at the ACC teams still in the mix.
Both of the ACC’s national seeds (#3 Louisville and #5 Miami) held serve in their regionals and will host in the supers.
Louisville made quick work of its opponents en route to a 3-0 regional mark at home, beating Morehead State and Michigan twice. The Cards barely broke a sweat and should be well-rested as none of the games was particularly close.
They will welcome Cal State Fullerton to town, which also advanced with an undefeated 3-0 weekend at home in the Fullerton Regional. The Cards will have their work cut out for them as the Big West Conference Champion Titans are a perennial college baseball power and are used to the big stage, having advanced to Omaha nine times in the past 20 years, including winning it all twice (’95, ’04).
Miami did not get out of their Coral Gables Regional unscathed. But despite a scare from Ivy League upstart Columbia, the ‘Canes got down to business and unleashed their offensive juggernaut in the 7th and deciding game Monday night to dispatch the Lions 21-3. As a result, they get to host the only super regional featuring a #4 seed.
VCU earned their trip to Coral Gables by emerging from Dallas as the #4 seed, including beating regional host and top seed Dallas Baptist twice.
ACC Champs Florida State had a 3-0 weekend in Tallahassee beating Mercer and CoC twice. But since the ‘Noles barely missed out on earning a national seed despite taking the ACC Tourney in Durham last month, they will be traveling this weekend.
The ‘Noles’ destination, wouldn’t you know it, is Gainesville to face in state rival Florida. The Gators and ‘Noles don’t like each other very much, and FSU would love nothing more than to upset the #4 national seed and cost them a trip to Omaha.
UVa racked up the frequent flyer miles over the weekend as they were sent all the way out to Lake Elsinore, CA for their regional, as the #3 seed no less. Yet they played like the favorites and carved up the competition as if they were in Charlottesville. And for the super regionals, they will be.
That’s because they’ll be facing Maryland, which also advanced as a #3 seed. And in spite of the fact that the Terps lost a game in the LA Regional, their advancing might be more impressive than UVa’s, as they had to defeat overall #1 national seed UCLA twice to emerge.
And in spite of the Terps bolting for the B1G, or maybe even because of it, these two teams don’t like one another any more than the Gators/’Noles. This is the only super regional series which doesn’t feature at least one #1 seed.
Defending National Champs Vanderbilt will travel north to Champaign, Illinois to face the #6 national seed Fighting Illini for the best of 3 super regional round.
#2 national seed LSU is the highest seed still remaining. They will welcome UL-Lafayette to Baton Rouge, which took the Houston Regional as the #3 seed.
Arkansas, winners of the Stillwater Regional and the only #2 to advance, will host the super regional round despite the fact that they’re facing #8 national seed Missouri State. The Bears get the short end on this one due to scheduling conficts for use of the stadium they share with the minor league Springfield Cardinals.
And of course, #7 national seed TCU will stay home and host Texas A&M.
So yeah, GO AGGIES!!!!!
By the Numbers – Super Regionals Seed Breakdown
- – Eleven*
- – one
- – three
- – one
* 7 of 8 national seeds advanced, with only overall #1 UCLA failing to reach the super regionals.
2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament Interactive Bracket (NCAA.com)
And did I mention…