NCAA Baseball Tournament 2010: Arizona State No. 1 Seed in Regionals
The NCAA Division I baseball tournament begins.
Arizona State, Texas, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, Louisville, and Georgia Tech scored the top eight national seeds for the 2010 tournament.
The action begins Friday with four teams each at 16 regional sites playing in a double-elimination tourney.
Those winners advance to one of eight super regionals, where the teams play a best-two-out-of-three series to decide who goes to Omaha for the College World Series.
It's the last year of play at Omaha's historic Rosenblatt Stadium. Who gets there and takes the last title before the CWS moves to downtown Omaha?
Let's take a look.
Arizona St. Regional
#1 Arizona State (47-8)
#4 Milwaukee (33-24)
#3 Hawaii (33-26)
#2 San Diego (36-20)
Arizona State comes into the tourney for the 34th appearance in school history. They are the overall No. 1 seed in the tourney, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
The overall No. 1 seed has not won the CWS since Miami won in 2001.
That said, Kole Calhoun (pictured) and ASU should have little issue getting out of their region if they show the form that led to a 24-game win streak earlier this season.
#1 Arkansas (40-18)
#4 Grambling (22-30)
#3 Kansas State (36-20)
#2 Washington State (34-20)
The Razorbacks are led by Zack Cox (pictured at right), who hit eight homers and drove in 47 runs this season.
Grambling is making their first tourney appearance since 1985. K-State comes in to tourney play after losing seven of their last 11 games.
Arkansas has the offense to get through, but will have a tough time with Arizona State in the super regional.
#1 Auburn (40-19)
#4 Jacksonville State (32-24)
#3 Southern Miss (35-22)
#2 Clemson (38-21)
Auburn (pictured watching tourney selection show) come into the tourney for the first time since 2005. They are No. 1 in the nation with 117 homers as a team.
Southern Miss and Clemson is an intriguing matchup. So. Miss has the most double plays turned in the nation (80) while the ACC dynamo is a tourney-tested team that is averaging 8.7 runs per game.
Look for the Clemson upset here.
Georgia Tech Regional
#1 Georgia Tech (45-13)
#4 Mercer (37-22)
#3 Elon (38-22)
#2 Alabama (37-22)
There's another SEC-ACC showdown looming here.
The Yellow Jackets will be led by pitcher Deck McGuire, who went 8-4 this year with a 3.01 ERA and 112 Ks.
Elon is making their fifth appearance since 2002. They could play the spoiler here, but I still like the host to advance.
#1 Oklahoma (44-15)
#4 Oral Roberts (35-25)
#3 North Carolina (36-20)
#2 California (29-23)
Zack Neal (pictured) and the Sooners are the class of this region. But you have a hot Tar Heels team and a tourney vet in Cal to challenge.
Still, it's hard to imagine Oklahoma losing at home. Look for them to come out to face Ole Miss in the super regional.
#1 Virginia (47-11)
#4 VCU 934-24-1)
#3 St. John's (40-18)
#2 Mississippi (38-22)
Virginia is the No. 5 overall nationally, a team that many like to go all the way this year. They're led by ACC Pitcher of the Year Danny Hultzen.
St. John's comes in as one of the nation's hottest teams. But the Cavaliers got absolutely no love from the committee, as they'll have to face Ole Miss and SEC Pitcher of the Year Drew Pomeranz.
Ole Miss pulls the upset here.
South Carolina Regional
#1 South Carolina (43-15)
#4 Bucknell (25-33)
#3 Citadel (42-20)
#2 Virginia Tech (38-20)
Senior catcher Brady Thomas and the Gamecocks were a borderline team to get a top-8 national seed but played their way out of the seed down the stretch. This is South Carolina's 11th straight NCAA appearance.
They still get to host a regional in Columbia, where they'll likely face Virginia Tech in the regional finale. I like Va. Tech to pull the upset.
Coastal Carolina Regional
#1 Coastal Carolina (51-7)
#4 Stony Brook (29-25)
#3 N.C. State (38-22)
#2 College of Charleston (42-17)
The Chanticleers come in with the most wins in the field this year. They come in fourth in the nation in ERA to go with speed (138 steals) and power (99 homers).
This regional is played at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, just one of two regionals not being played on campus.
Coastal Carolina is the power here. They advance.
#1 Texas (46-11)
#4 Rider (36-21)
#3 La.-Lafayette (37-20)
#2 Rice (38-21)
Coach Augie Garrido and the Longhorns are coming in with a nation-leading 2.53 ERA and one of the most dominating 1-2-3 rotations in the country.
Rice knows how to pull the upset, but this Texas team is just too good.
#1 TCU (46-11)
#4 Lamar (35-24)
#3 Arizona (33-22)
#2 Baylor (34-22)
The Horned Frogs have had a dominating season, but many see this as the one spot where the No. 1 is most likely to be picked off.
Arizona and Baylor are both coming in hot.
That said, TCU freshman Matt Purke is 12-0 with 113 Ks to lead a rotation that is 32-2 this year.
TCU advances to take on Texas.
Florida State Regional
#1 Florida State (42-17)
#4 Central Connecticut State (33-21)
#3 Oregon (38-22)
#2 Connecticut (47-14)
No taking down the host here. The Seminoles have too potent of an attack.
#1 Louisville (48-12)
#4 St. Louis (33-27)
#3 Illinois State (31-22)
#2 Vanderbilt (41-17)
Louisville is the No. 7 national seed. Many thought they'd earned a better seed, which could be the ultimate motivator.
That said, Vandy comes in hot and pulls the upset.
#1 UCLA (43-13)
#4 Kent State (39-23)
#3 UC Irvine (37-19)
#2 LSU (40-20)
UCLA is the No. 6 seed overall. LSU was one of those teams that many thought played themselves out of a national seed down the stretch.
The Bruins advance at home.
Cal State Fullerton Regional
#1 CS Fullerton (41-15)
#4 Minnesota (30-28)
#3 New Mexico (37-20)
#2 Stanford (31-23)
Fullerton is making its 19th straight appearance in the tourney. It has won 23 of its last 25 games.
New Mexico is making its first tourney appearance since 1962. It's the feel-good story but not enough to take down Fullerton in the final.
#1 Miami (40-17)
#4 Dartmouth (26-17)
#3 FIU (36-23)
#2 Texas A&M (40-19-1)
The Hurricanes make the tourney for the 38th consecutive year. They will be charged with slowing down Florida International's Garrett Wittels (pictured), who comes into the postseason with a 54-game hitting streak.
It's currently the second best all time, four games behind Robin Ventura's 58. Will Wittels get a chance to extend the streak?
He'll likely have to wait until the start of his junior year. Getting past Miami and Texas A&M is too tall an order for FIU.
#1 Florida (42-15)
#4 Bethune-Cookman (35-20)
#3 Oregon State (31-22)
#2 Florida Atlantic (35-22)
Nolan Fontana (pictured) and the host Gators have a weak regional to get through. Florida is young, with five players on the SEC All-Freshman team -- including Freshman of the Year Austin Maddox.
Look for a Miami-Florida super regional starting on June 11 or 12.
Predicting the Winners
We don't see a lot of Cinderella stories in this field.
Arizona State takes down Arkansas, Clemson wins the battle of the ACC teams over Georgia Tech, Ole Miss rides hot arms over Oklahoma for a ticket to Omaha, joined by Coastal Carolina over Va Tech.
On the other side of the bracket, it's Texas over TCU, Florida State over Vandy, UCLA over Cal State Fullerton and Florida over Miami.
Anything can happen once it gets to Rosenblatt. We just like Texas too much.
Arms rule at the CWS and the Longhorns own the arms race this year.