Jun 7

Super Regional Preview

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Photo: College World Series

The sweet 16 teams of college baseball for 2010 are now set (eh, well except for the Texas A&M/Miami game last night which was suspended due to weather) and ready to play ball. And before the tournament even really heats up, I have already lost my national title prediction in LSU. Yes, the defending champs - and my pick to win it all again - were defeated out in Los Angeles, and will not make the super regional round in 2010...
 
My enthusiasm for college baseball has always been strong as my dad played for Clemson and I attended baseball camp there every year from 3rd grade until 11th grade. In college at CU, I was a regular at Tiger Field cheering on as a beverage motivated fan. My interest is especially strong right now as Clemson is alive still, and should host a super regional next weekend. Also, this is the final year of play at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, and thus my longtime dream of wanting to see CU dogpile on that mound is still alive!!
 
One thing I really take my hat off to the NCAA for this year (and I dont compliment them often, especially for posteseason issues) is the way they set up the traveling for the NCAA tournament. Yes, if you dissect it enough, you can find a few travels that dont make sense in the opening round. However, in the super regional round, the traveling makes great sense - especially in these tough times - as you have several in-state supers, as well as close-by inter-state supers. Good job, NCAA....
 
As mentioned above, I now have to come up with a new pick to win the national championship, and my first inclination is to go with an ACC team. Go ahead and call me a homer, but Florida State and Clemson are a combined 30 trips without a title. If you play odds at all, you know that eventually they come around and even out at least a bit. FSU is the sad owner of 19 of those unsuccessful trips to Omaha but is a live and well. Also, UVA enters super regional play for the second consecutive season as a discussed best team in the land. Yes, I like my team's conference, but I also like to play the odds sometimes and the ACC is seriously due (especially with LSU not in the mix)... Outside of an ACC team, I would go with Texas...
 
Here is a quick look at the super regional matchups ahead....
 
Tempe Super Regional - Arizona State   (21 CWS trips, 5 titles) vs. Arkansas (6 CWS trips, 0 titles) - This seems like an easy pick as you have one of college baseball's all-time most succesful programs in ASU vs an Arkansas squad that is a come and go guest to Omaha (to Arkansas' credit, they reached Rosenblatt in 2004 and 2009 recently). It would be tough to bet against the nation's top ranked team playing at home not to advance...Prediction: Arizona State
 
Austin Super Regional - Texas (33 CWS trips, 6 titles) vs. TCU  (0 CWS trips, 0 titles) - The Longhorns have been swapping the number one ranking all season with Virginia, and might-as-well be the national number one seed now as they will host a super regional. The Horned Frogs are in uncharted waters, but the cool thing about baseball is that anythingcan happen. Texas is a NCAA monster, but that will also motivate TCU's guys beyond belief....Prediction: Texas
 
Gainesville Super Regional - Florida (5 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. TEXAM/Miami - The Gators come into the SR ahead as the #3 national seed. As I type this, the game has been suspended in the bottom of the second inning, with play to resume Tuesday afternoon to see who will face UF....Prediction: coming tomorrow
 
Myrtle Beach Super Regional - Coastal Carolina (0 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. South Carolina (8 CWS trips, 0 titles) - A battle of two teams not very far apart will see the Gamecocks travel over to the coast to take on the Chanticleers. Both teams have been in the top-25 pretty much the entire season, and this will be a very intriguing regional to keep up with. Baseball in the Palmetto State is at an all-time high with three teams out of 16 still alive coming from this state. These two squads have top-notch facilities, and should be NCAA regulars for years to come. Coastal...Prediction: South Carolina
 
Charlottesville Super Regional Virginia (1 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. Oklahoma (9 omaha trips, 2 titles) - As mentioned above, the Cavs and Longhorns have been swapping the top rnaking all season long. UVA has come out of nowhere to have a top-notch program year in and year out as of late. However, the Cavs just do not give me a good vibe, and I am going to pick the visiting Sooners to reach Omaha for the first time since 1995, when they went back to back with a national title...Prediction: Oklahoma
 
Los Angeles Super Regional - UCLA (2 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. CSFU (16 CWS trips, 4 titles) UCLA knocked off my pick to win it all as the host won the regional featuring defending national champion LSU. Knowing how intense both LSU and UC-Irvine play inthe postseason, I am expecting the Bruins to go far. No matter who wins between the two teams vying to face UCLA, I am picking the Bruins....Prediction: UCLA 
 
Tallahassee Super Regional - Florida State(19 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. Vanderbilt (0 CWS trips, 0 titles) - The 'Noles have had the most misery in Omaha of any team not named Clemson. 19 times the Seminoles have gone to Nebraska, and 19 times they have come home with no hardware....Opposite them is a Vanderbilt team that has yet to make the voyage. Both will be scratching and clawing to get back...Prediction: Florida State
 
Clemson Super Regional - Clemson (11 CWS trips, 0 titles) vs. Alabama (5 CWS trips, 0 titles) - The battle between two squads that won their regionals on the road. Clemson is powered by first round draft pick Kyle Parker who has been on a tear of late, including a 3-run bomb in the deciding game Monday night. Alabama has also shown some grit, traveling to Atlanta and knocking off national 8 seed Georgia Tech. However, I have to go with the home team this time around as the Tigers are playing some of their best ball of the season right now.....Prediction: Clemson



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