NCAA Regional Weekend Preview

Ham Schmitmmeyer
Columnist, prospectjunkies.com
twitter.com/hamtime5

Arizona State Regional

#3) Hawaii Rainbows (33-26) – Hawaii enters the tournament thanks to a conference tournament championship. Early in the 2010 campaign Hawaii faced quality opponents in Oregon and Oregon State, and the club was 3-1 and 1-3 against the schools, respectively. Low offensive output was a trend for the Rainbows in these games and I do not see them advancing any further in this tournament.

#2) San Diego (36-20) – Led by Kyle Blair and Sammy Solis, two pitchers that will go in the first 3 rounds of next week’s amateur draft, San Diego steamrolled through the WCC with a 19-2 regular season conference record. The thing that sticks out to me is the fact that they actually played the host school twice and lost by a combined score of 26-6. This will be the Torero’s last stop of the 2010 season.

#4) Milwaukee Panthers (33-24) – Milwaukee advanced to the tournament with the automatic bid from the Horizon League. They’ve played 5 games against ranked opponents this season, losing all five. Should be a fun trip for Milwaukee, besides the baseball part.

#1) Arizona State (47-8) – I think it’s time we remove the “interim” from head coach Tim Esmay’s title after securing the Tournament’s number 1 overall seed. They should have little problem advancing to the next stage of the tournament.

Arkansas Regional

#3) Kansas Sate University (36-20) – Kansas State had an impressive regular season but was a combined 2 -5 against upper echelon teams in Oklahoma and Texas. KSU exited the Big 12 tourney early, with a loss to Oklahoma in their 3rd game. Maybe their pitchers will be fresh enough to win the regional, but I doubt it.

#2) Washington State University (34-20) – After taking a look at Washington State’s schedule it is clear that they’ve played against as many quality opponents as anyone. Including a 2-1 record against overall #1 seed ASU. Another thing that jumped out is how much worse WSU fared on the road. It was a strong year for Pac 10 baseball, and I think they could catch Arkansas at the right time and advance to the next round.

#4) Grambling State University (22-30) – After a lackluster regular season consisting of multiple losses to teams I’ve never heard of, the GSU Tigers won the SWAC Baseball tournament earning the automatic bid. Due to the lack of quality competition and their losses to poor competition, it should be an early exit for GSU.

#1) Arkansas (40-18) – Arkansas has been tested a great deal this year facing a ton of competition in the SEC. Twelve of their last 13 games were against teams ranked in the top 17 and Arkansas lost 8 of those games. Arkansas success literally rests on the back of slugging 3B and future 1st round pick Zach Cox who missed the SEC tournament with a back injury but ultimately I think they have the depth and pitching to advance.

Auburn Regional

#3) Southern Miss (35-22) – Brett Favre promised to return to the Vikings if the Golden Eagles returned to Omaha. I wish he’d promise to stay retired if they didn’t. Southern Miss won the Conference USA tournament and will put up a fight in this regional, but ultimately loses.

#2) Clemson (38-21) – Clemson put together an impressive 2010 regular season campaign but lost the first two games of the ACC tourney. They’re led by two sport star QB/OF Kyle Parker. Comparing relative competition, it seems that this regional will be a two-horse race between Clemson and Auburn.

#4) Jacksonville State (32-24) – Jacksonville State’s regular season performance is pretty pedestrian. They earned their way to the big dance through an OVC tournament title. Not a lot of quality teams were on their schedule and they’ll be ousted quickly in this tournament, but it will be interesting to see how OF and draft prospect Todd Cunningham performs on his biggest stage of his life.

#1) Auburn (40-19) – Auburn had a terrific regular season overall but I’m a little troubled by the fact that they were 0-3 against Arizona State and 1-2 against Vanderbilt. On a positive note, Auburn was 2-1 against LSU. In the end, I see Clemson emerging from this regional.

Georgia Tech Regional

#3) Elon (38-22) – Elon earned an at-large bid for their play during the regular season and advancing to the finals of the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament. They have played a decent amount of tough competition but I doubt they have the depth to win this regional.

#2) Alabama (37-22) – Alabama also earned an at-large big from its regular season play. They also have experienced tough competition because of their SEC schedule. I’m concerned about ‘bama because they were a combined 0-7 against LSU and Arkansas.

#4) Mercer (37-22) – Mercer is in the field for the first time ever after winning the A-Sun conference for the first time in 27 years. I think their experience will be similar to looking at a bunch of Christmas lights. It’s really great when you first see it, and then, you get destroyed by Georgia Tech and one more team and go home.

#1) Georgia Tech (45-13) – Georgia Tech is the #8 overall seed in the tournament and I think they should be able to get through this regional at home. With draft prospects Deck McGuire, Brandon Cumpton and Kevin Jacob on the mound, Tech is primed for post season play. They had a fantastic regular season but lost 3 of their final four games heading to the tourney. I think they’ll be fine and power through this region.

Virginia Regional

#3) St. Johns (40-18) – St. Johns was very strong in the Big East this year. I wonder if they’ll struggle due to a lack of quality competition in the regular season.

#2) Mississippi (38-22) – Ole Miss is another SEC team that played a lot of tough regular season competition. They had a tendency to beat the teams they were supposed to beat and lose to the teams with better rankings. The exception was a very tight, late season, three game series against LSU that Ole Miss swept. This could bode well for the Rebels., as does the fact that they have this tournament’s best pitcher and top 5 pick, lefty Drew Pomeranz.

#4) VCU (34-24-1) – VCU had a decent regular season (and kissed their sister once) and got a draw they probably wanted being in Virginia’s region. My older brother always beat me at everything, but VCU will try to get even in this season’s rematch.

#1) Virginia (47-11) – The number 5 seed overall, the Cavaliers had an outstanding regular season which they capped off by winning the ACC tournament. Led by pitchers Danny Hultzen and Robert Morey, Virginia never suffered back-to-back losses and won every regular season series they played except one. This is a great sign for the Cavs in the double elimination format. I think they will advance to the next phase of the tournament.

Oklahoma Regional

#3) North Carolina (36-20) – Despite failing to qualify for the ACC tournament the young Tar Heels had an acceptable 2010 campaign, beating a lot of teams they were supposed to. I’m troubled by their combined 0-6 record against Virginia and Miami but with the rebirth of Matt Harvey and Coach Fox’ post season experience, I feel that this bracket is primed for the Tar Heels to pull off an upset.

#2) California (29-23) – Another Pac 10 team that played a brutal regular season schedule. Their wins tend to come in bunches… as well as their losses. What streak they possess in the Regional Tournament will be a difficult call.

#4) Oral Roberts (35-25) – Nothing about the Oral Roberts’ regular season will really jump at you while taking a look at their results. They made the Big Dance by winning the Currington Mortgage Summit League Tournament.

#1) Oklahoma (44-15) – Oklahoma boasts an impressive record coming out of the down Big 12 this season. During the regular season the Sooners only managed 1 win against a top 25 opponent, losing their other 4 opportunities. I look for North Carolina and the Cal Bears to give Oklahoma all they can handle.

South Carolina Regional

#3) Citadel (43-20) – The Bulldogs took a wire-to-wire approach in winning their conference this year. Let’s see if they can display some pitching depth behind the right arm of Asher Wojciechowski, a Golden Spikes Award Finalist and possible 1st round pick.

#2) Virginia Tech (38-20) – Another ACC team with quality competition experience. Va. Tech played very well against ranked opponents this season, discounting a late season series against North Carolina where they were swept.

#4) Bucknell (25-33) – Bucknell was awarded the tournament birth after capturing the Patriot League tournament championship. I don’t expect them to hang around long in this bracket.

#1) South Carolina (43-15) – The Gamecocks had a wonderful season overall but will enter their regional losers of 4 of their last 5. South Carolina very rarely were defeated by more than a couple runs this season and if Va Tech and The Citadel come prepared, this will be a very entertaining regional. Ultimatly, I think the Gamecocks advance.

Coastal Carolina Regional

#3) North Carolina State (38-22) – NC State played one of the most challenging schedules in the nation. Nobody will take them by surprise in this tournament. NC State was 8-13 against top 25 competition.

#2) College of Charleston (42-17) – The C of C had an outstanding regular season but didn’t face the competition that most of this regional endured. C of C was 3-4 against top 25 competition this season. I don’t see them advancing.

#4) Stony Brook (29-25) – Stony Brook won the American East Title last weekend to secure their tournament birth. I hope they have fun.

#1) Coastal Carolina (51-7) Coastal Carolina is the overall #4 seed in the Tournament, with the nations best win percentage. Coastal lost twice in the season campaign to C of C. They weren’t conference games, however and I see Coastal Carolina advancing from their regional.

Texas Regional

#3) La. – Lafayette (37-20) – La. Lafayette had a very good regular season but was 2 and out in the Sun Belt Conference. They were also 0-2 against top 25 competition, so I think it could be a short stay for them in the 2010 tournament.

#2) Rice (38-21) – The perennial power had another good season in a down Conference USA before losing in the finals of the conference tournament. Rice was 1-2 against Texas in the regular season. We’ll see if they can use what they’ve learned to get past Texas in their own regional.

#4) Rider (36-21) – When I searched Rider University’s official site for information on their baseball team, all I found was pictures of the new baseball diamond they must be constructing. It looks nice.

#1) Texas (46-11) – #2 overall, Texas looks to build on a fantastic regular season by defeating one of its in-state, baseball rivals. Anchored by one of the best pitching staffs in recent memory with Taylor Jungmann, Cole Green, Brandon Workman and Chance Ruffin, advancing to the next round and beyond shouldn’t be an issue.

TCU Regional

#3) Arizona (33-22) – Another Pac 10 team that is familiar with playing quality competition. I don’t think it will be enough for them to advance, however.

#2) Baylor (34-22) – Baylor had an interesting stretch in the middle of the regular season where they faced TCU and Texas in back-to-back series. Baylor split the two game series with TCU by losing in 10 innings and then run-ruling TCU. They then lost all three games, in close fashion, to Texas. I think the Bears advance from this regional.

#4) Lamar (35-24) – Lamar walked through the Southland Conference Tournament to earn their birth. I don’t think they’ll be enjoying an extended stay in the TCU Regional.

#1) TCU (46-11) – TCU had a very impressive regular season and they’re led by unsigned 2009 1st round draftee, freshman LHP Matthew Purke. They boast one of the best records in the nation and most of their losses were very close. I think they haven’t played a lot of great competition throughout the season and this will end up costing them.

Connecticut Regional

#3) Oregon (38-22) – Did every team from the Pac 10 make the dance? Oregon did very well against quality competition this year and as the 3 seed in the bracket, I see this regional being very tough.

#2) Connecticut (47-14) Connecticut gets to play host even though they are the 2 seed in the bracket. UConn had a magnificent regular season but ultimately, a lack a quality competition will prove to be their downfall as the bracket comes down to Oregon and Florida State.

#4) CCSU (33-21) – CCSU appears thanks to a Northeast Conference Tournament victory. They’ll immediately know that they’re in over their heads in game one against Florida State.

#1) Florida State University (42-17) – FSU had a terrific regular season, which they capped off with an ACC tournament title. I believe they’ll be able to ride this momentum into the Super Regionals.

Louisville Regional

#3) Illinois State (31-22) – Illinois State had pretty boring regular season accomplishments. They remind me of my Calculus Teacher. Illinois State was victorious in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

#2) Vanderbilt (41-17) – Vanderbilt had an impressive regular season, where they actually defeated Illinois State pretty early in their campaign. They’ve faced and performed well against tough competition. If they can use Jack Armstrong against Illinois State and throw Sonny Gray against Louisville, I foresee Vandy escaping this Regional.

#4) St. Louis (33-27) – SLU is another team that has had little experience this season against elite competition. They did a great job in winning the Atlantic Ten Conference, which might mean more if this were a college basketball article.

#1) Louisville (48-12) – Louisville (#7 overall) had an incredible regular season. They did very well inside their conference and also destroyed Big 10 competition. Louisville will look to win the regional against Vanderbilt, a team that played a tougher schedule. The two teams faced one another in the regular season and Vanderbilt finally won after 17 innings.

UCLA Regional

#3) UC Irvine (37-19) – UCI had a pretty good regular season, but was less than mediocre against the quality competition that it did face. They will not be advancing any further this year. I’ll be interested to see how Daniel Biloba fairs against a potent LSU lineup on Friday.

#2) LSU (40-20) – LSU was highly regarded entering the 2010 season but struggled mightily towards the end of the season against tougher SEC competition. LSU rebounded to win the SEC tournament but I doubt their ability to escape the UCLA Regional.

#4) Kent State (39-23) – Kent State will be in the UCLA Regional thanks to a MAC tournament victory. I hope the only tournament team from Ohio has fun in Southern California.

#1) UCLA (43-13) – It took UCLA, the overall #6 seed, over 20 games this season to experience a loss. They preformed well in the Pac 10 and I think we will see them advance from their regional behind the arms of Sophomores Gerrit Cole, Travis Bauer and junior LHP Rob Rasmussen rival Texas’ superior staff.

Cal State Fullerton Regional

#3) New Mexico (37-20) – New Mexico enters the regional as the 3 seed, and they’ll look to prove that they deserve respect as they try to steal the regional from the likes of Stanford and CSF.

#2) Stanford (31-23) – During the course of the 2010 season Stanford has put together some impressive series victories (OSU, Cal, Arizona) but was also swept in by Texas and Washington.

#4) Minnesota (30-28) – The only Big 10 team in the tournament. They’ll try not to embarrass the conference but it’s not football, so most Big 10 fans will be pretty indifferent.

#1) Cal State Fullerton (41-15) – The perennial power stumbled out of the gate this year, playing sub .500 ball against Pac 10 Competition but is really clicking entering the Big Dance. The Titans have two potential 1st round picks (SS – Christian Colon, OF – Gary Brown) and I look for them to advance from their Regional, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Stanford steal it.

Miami Regional

#3) FIU (36-23) – FIU’s Garrett Wittels will be on national display as he attempts to extend his hitting streak of 54 games. The current Division One hitting streak record is 58 games set by Robin Ventura in 1987.

#2) Texas A & M (40-19-1) – A & M enters the Tournament on the heels of a Big 12 Tournament title. The Aggies played right around .500 ball against top 25 competition this year which could bode well for them in this regional.

#4) Dartmouth (26-17) – Dartmouth had a decent season in the Ivy League but only played 3 teams that were ranked in the top 25. They were 0-3 in those games and I don’t think they’ll be a factor in this region, unless there is some kind of puzzle challenge.

#1) Miami (40-17) – Miami was great outside of the ACC this season and pretty good inside it as well. Juniors Yasmani Grandal and Chris Hernandez both have Omaha experience (2008) and I think this Regional will come down to Miami and A&M with Miami eventually advancing.

Florida Regional

#3) Oregon State (31-22) – Oregon State had a nice season within the Pac 10. Of course they will be dangerous with the kind of competition they have been accustomed to facing.

#2) Florida Atlantic (35-22) – FAU had a good regular season but I question their ability to win a four-team tournament against teams who’ve played Pac 10 and ACC competition. FAU did defeat Bethune Cookman in their meeting this season.

#4) Bethune Cookman (35-20) – BC enters the big dance thanks to a MEAC championship. They get to stay in state for their tournament but in the end, it won’t be enough.

#1) Florida (42-15) – Florida has a dangerous combination of Senior leadership and Freshman studs. I look for them to advance relatively easily in their Regional.

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3 thoughts on “NCAA Regional Weekend Preview

  1. Thanks for reading Jordan. ESPNU has quite a few of the first round games. Last year the Super Regional was divided up between ESPN2 and ESPNU and all the Omaha games are televised as well. I'm a huge fan of this tournament, I just wish it got 1/10th of the buzz March Madness.

    Like

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