CBB Column: NCAA Regional Projections (March 4th)

And you thought last week featured some marquee match-ups…

There were the showcase tournaments like the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, Baseball at the Beach, Dodgertown Classic, and the Rice Invitational. Then there were premier out-of-conference match-ups like Texas v. Stanford and East Carolina v. South Carolina. I have to say I grew up in the right era for college baseball. Fan, scouts, and scribes were spread out across the country and they were treated to some fantastic baseball.

Here is this week’s “7 Things we learned this weekend.”

1. UC Irvine and its talented pitching staff found out its hard to travel East for a weekend. With the exception of Christian Bergmann on Friday, the Anteaters’ heralded staff was roughed up at Baseball at the Beach. But I have a funny feeling they will get the ship righted as soon as they get back to the friendly confines of California.

2. After a rocky opening weekend, the Texas’ rotation looks like it’s going to be just fine. Neither Austin Dicharry nor Brandon Workman pitched more than five innings in the Longhorns weekend series against No. 17 Stanford, but both looked sharp. And Taylor Jungmann twirled a four-hit and 10 strikeout gem on Friday to officially up the ante in the ongoing “Best Pitcher in the Country” argument.

3. North Carolina has played just six games, and they already may have proven that even the college baseball bluebloods have to rebuild every once in awhile. After struggling offensively in their underwhelming sweep of George Washington in the opening weekend, the Tar Heels suffered a power outage in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Maine. Mike Fox’s young club will have a lot of time to heat their bats up, but right now they are the sixth-best team in the conference at best.

4. You can count me amongst those that thought East Carolina would fold after losing their Friday opener to South Carolina. Their pitching staff really carried the load and against a lineup that, while missing Jackie Bradley Jr., has plenty of weapons throughout. The bullpen was looked especially good and only allowed one run all weekend despite constantly pitching in pressure situations.

5. There were some under-the-radar tournaments this weekend as well, a nobody had a better weekend at one than Western Kentucky did in the QTI Baylor Classic. The Hilltoppers won two close games against Texas A&M and Texas State, and then topped it off by jumping out to an early lead over the host Bears and letting starter Shane Cameron and the bullpen seal the win.

6. Although preseason favorite Texas State has only lost one game, to the aforementioned Hilltoppers, they dropped out of the bracket, and they can thank conference rival Southeastern Louisiana for that. Mississippi State may not be the cream of the crop in the SEC but that doesn’t make it any easier to walk into Starkville and leave with three wins. Then consider they won Friday and Sunday in the final two innings of the game and they deserve a Regional bid even if it is just for a week.

7. Don’t look now but the same Cal Bears team that finished ninth in the Pac-10 last season has already posted four shut-outs. OK, so three of them came in their opening weekend sweep of lowly Southern Utah, but Sunday starter Dixon Anderson still hasn’t allowed an earned run. That, and their three more wins in the Bakersfield tournament make them a week spotlight. Just don’t get used to seeing the Bears in the field of 64.

1. Virginia (1) *

2. Ohio State *

3. Wichita State *

4. Wagner *

1. UC Irvine *

2. Oregon State

3. Fresno State *

4. UT Pan American *

1. LSU (2) *

2. Oklahoma

3. Dallas Baptist

4. Southern *

1. Clemson

2. Mississippi

3. Texas A&M

4. Maine *

1. Texas (3) *

2. Rice

3. California

4. Murray State *

1. East Carolina *

2. Western Kentucky *

3. Winthrop

4. Army *

1. Florida State (4)

2. Tennessee

3. FIU

4. Florida Gulf Coast *

1. Louisville *

2. Kentucky

3. Boston College

4. Binghamton *

1. Florida (5) *

2. North Carolina State

3. Middle Tennessee State

4. Manhattan *

1. South Carolina *

2. North Carolina

3. UC Riverside

4. Charlotte *

1. Georgia Tech (6)

2. Georgia

3. Tulane

4. Dartmouth*

1. UCLA

2. Cal State Fullerton

3. San Diego *

4. Ball State *

1. Coastal Carolina (7) *

2. Vanderbilt

3. New Mexico

4. Appalachian State *

1. Miami (FL)

2. Alabama

3. Southern Mississippi

4. Bethune-Cookman*

1. Arizona State (8)*

2. Kansas

3. Long Beach State

4. Wright State *

1. TCU

2. Arkansas

3. Southeastern Louisiana *

4. George Mason*

Last five in: New Mexico, California, Tulane, Boston College, Winthrop

First ten out: Arizona, Washington St, Lamar , Texas Tech, Sam Houston State, UNC Wilmington, Mississippi State, James Madison, Kansas State, Belmont

  • Jack Gazzola

    You did not include the MAAC Conference

  • http://www.coastalfans.com/forum Bob

    Hmm a #7 national seed? I could live with that, but I’m worried about Vanderbilt. Also, why would we be paired up with the Miami Regional and not the South Carolina one? It seems the NCAA is hell-bent on pairing up Carolina teams.

  • Michael Lemaire

    Mr. Gazzola,

    Kudos to your keen eyes. Once again I thought Manhattan was included and they got lost when I was switching up the teams. They are in, Washington State is out.

    Carry on.

  • Ryan Rosenblatt

    No Arizona St. anywhere? UCLA and Cal in the same Regional? That can’t happen. You also need a third West Coast host, which I assume would be Arizona St. and would eliminate something like two West Coast teams going to Texas, which is highly unlikely.

  • Mark

    Also no Summit League