In case you missed it (how could you miss it?), the 2014 NCAA Baseball Regionals came out on Monday afternoon with all 64 teams announced for the tournament. Here is my brief look at every regional with my reaction to it. We will have very in-depth previews posted throughout the week of each NCAA Regional.
Baton Rouge, LA Regional
This regional is going to be won and lost by LSU who are playing in front of their rabid crowd. The only team that I can see giving LSU a run for their money is the Houston Cougars who have a staff ERA of 2.20 but are hitting only .280 as a squad. I think this is the end of the line for Bryant very quickly as I see them hitting the jambalaya very quickly. Note to Bryant: This isn’t Kansas anymore.
Bloomington, IN Regional
Can Indiana make it two straight trips to Omaha for the Big Ten conference? My quick answer is no as I just don’t see them putting the magic together for two straight years. I believe this is the weakest national seed in the last ten years as they got the number 4 national seed. The biggest team in this regional to block the Hoosier from winning is a Stanford squad that is led by freshmen pitchers who have now completed their first season of college baseball.
Charlottesville, VA Regional
Virginia should roll over all three teams here with Liberty the biggest issue and Arkansas has been underwhelming all season. The issue with Liberty is their poor record over the last eight games where they are 3-5 including a 2-2 mark in Big South Conference Tournament.
Coral Gables, FL Regional
Could it get any easier for the Miami (FL) Hurricanes to make the Super Regionals? They have to face Bethune-Cookman in their opener then face the winner of Texas Tech and Columbia….Let me say that again to you, the Ivy League Champion Columbia is a three seed in a regional. Nothing against Coach Boretti’s squad but I don’t remember an Ivy League squad ever getting a three seed before. I digress, Texas Tech has a chance to knock off the Hurricanes here and would not be surprised to see Tadlock’s guys come through in the postseason.
Corvallis, OR Regional
UNLV’s top pitcher Erick Fedde is out and Oregon State has the best pitching staff in the nation this season. Beavers roll to the Supers.
Columbia, SC Regional
South Carolina should win this regional going away but it will be interesting to see how Maryland lines up their rotation with three solid starters led by Jake Stinnett. My expectation is the Gamecocks will thrive on their fans and get through an inexperienced Terps squad which is making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 43 years.
Fort Worth, TX Regional
This is the small regional in Texas with TCU, Dallas Baptist, Sam Houston State, and Siena. Dallas Baptist like usual flies under the radar of many teams and it was only a few years ago that they made a Super Regional. Can they do it again? I think they could surprise some teams as the Missouri Valley Conference plays some very underrated baseball but my early pick is TCU.
Gainesville, FL Regional
Am I really going to pick against the Gators on their home field? Absolutely not, as Long Beach shouldn’t be a two seed, UNC snuck into the tourney by the skin of their teeth (there is skin on teeth?), and College of Charleston who is probably the most dangerous four seed in the nation. If the Gators don’t pull off this regional, my pick would be the Cougars to win it as a four seed.
Goodbye to George Mason…this is the battle of Texas. It seems like the Longhorns and the Aggies get into this tournament just based on their name but everyone forgets that Rice is a very talented squad. I think this will be the biggest hyped series and the absolute worst to watch as Rice is heads and shoulders better than the other two Texas squads. (Yes Walt, I actually wrote something good about Rice for a change!)
Lafayette, LA Regional
Battle in the Cajun country…this is where some good old fashion Cajuns live…Can Mississippi State go into this hostile environment and win? Absolutely! Will they, nope as MSU’s pitching hasn’t lived up to the standards they expected….
Louisville, KY Regional
Time for the AJ Reed show…When does Kentucky start him? Do you risk it in Game 1 against Kansas or save him for Louisville? I say the Wildcats save him for Louisville and go right into the winner’s bracket and sweep through the Cardinals regional dogpiling on their rivals field!
Nashville, TN Regional
It is the time for the real Vanderbilt to show up! Will they? Yea, they should get out of Nashville pretty easily as Oregon isn’t a real threat in my mind for Omaha and Clemson is another power conference team living off of name recognition.
Oxford, MS Regional
The BEST regional in my mind as I could see any of these teams winning it except for Jacksonville State. I think Washington is the best overall team here and will circle the wagons as the head on the road as they lost four out of their last five on the year. Oxford will be rocking through with the Rebels fans…Huskies get it done in the end though.
San Luis Obispo, CA Regional
Cal Poly hosting for the first time ever sounds like a great thing right? Not too fast, can they handle the pressure of being the favorite? I think this is between Pepperdine and Arizona State who both aren’t getting enough attention nationally.
Stillwater, OK Regional
Fullerton makes this Regional tough if they play up to their expectations. I am still not sold on Big 10 baseball being relevant and Oklahoma State is still a year away. Binghamton, sorry but this isn’t going to be your time to shine but those Bearcats do not quit so if they are taken lightly, they can bring home a victory or two. I think Fullerton takes this with the strong pitching led by “no-hitter” Justin Garza.
Tallahassee, FL Regional
Another joke of a regional! Kennesaw State has the best player in this regional though in Max Pentecost but besides that I don’t see them making a huge impact here. FSU’s pitching should be able to dominate Bama and Georgia Southern.