NCAA baseball tournament bracket: Florida top seed, UNC snubbed again
The ACC and SEC dominated the field of 64 for this year's NCAA baseball tournament, the bracket for which was released on Monday. The ACC has 10 teams in, six of which are national seeds, while the SEC set a record with seven national seeds, though those were the only teams from the conference to make the tournament. The games begin on Friday with 16 double-elimination regionals featuring four teams each. The winners of those regionals advance to the best-of-three Super Regionals the weekend of June 10-13. The eight teams that win there will make it to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series, which takes begins on June 16.
Florida, ranked No. 1 in the latest USA Today poll, is the top overall seed. The Gators are led by junior lefthanded starter A.J. Puk, who is a strong candidate to be the No. 1 pick in next month's MLB draft.
Virginia is the defending national champion. In 2015, the Cavaliers became the first ACC team in 60 years to win the national championship, knocking off '14 champ Vanderbilt in the best-of-three final series. Both the Cavs and Commodores are hosting regionals this weekend and they have plenty of company from their respective leagues. From the ACC, Louisville (No. 2 overall), Miami (No. 3), Clemson (No. 7), Florida State, NC State and Virginia are No. 1 seeds, while those from the SEC include Florida (No. 1 overall), Texas A&M (No. 4), Mississippi State (No. 6), LSU (No. 8), Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
The ACC also had the most notable snub, as North Carolina was left out of the field despite having an RPI of No. 19. It's the second straight year the Tar Heels had easily the highest RPI of any team not to make the tournament. North Carolina, which has been to six College World Series since 2006, started the year 20-4 but finished 14-17 and missed out on the ACC tournament.
Among other teams not to make it are Oregon State, which won two national titles by beating the Tar Heels in the finals in 2006 and '07, and Texas, which won two national championships under coach Augie Garrido but had a losing season this year. On Monday, the Longhorns announced that Garido, the sport's winningest coach, would not be back in Austin next season.
Here is the full bracket. One half of the bracket will feature the Gainesville Regional vs. the Tallahassee Regional; the Baton Rouge Regional vs. the Raleigh Regional; the College Station Regional against the Forth Worth Regional; and the Lubbock Regional against the Charlottesville Regional. The other half will see the Louisville Regional vs. Nashville Regional; the Clemson Regional vs. the Columbia Regional; the Coral Gables Regional vs. the Oxford Regional; and the Starkville Regional vs. the Oxford Regional.
1. (No. 1 national seed) Florida (47-13) vs. 4. Bethune Cookman (29-25)
2. Georgia Tech (36-23) vs. 3. Connecticut (37-25)
1. Florida State (37-20) vs. 4. Alabama State (38-15)
2. Southern Miss (40-18) vs. 3. South Alabama (40-20)
Baton Rouge Regional
1. (No. 8 national seed) LSU (42-18) vs. 4 Utah Valley (37-21)
2. Rice (35-22) vs. 3 Southeastern Louisiana (39-10)
1. NC State (35-20) vs. 4. Navy (42-14-1)
2. Coastal Carolina (44-15) vs. 3. Saint Mary's (33-23)
College Station Regional
1. (No. 4 national seed) Texas A&M (45-14) vs. 4. Binghamton (30-23)
2. Minnesota (34-20) vs. 3. Wake Forest (34-25)
Fort Worth Regional
1. TCU (42-15) vs. 4. Oral Roberts (38-19)
2. Arizona State (34-21) vs. 3. Gonzaga (35-19)
1. (No. 5 national seed) Texas Tech (41-16) vs. 4. Fairfield (32-24)
2. Dallas Baptist (41-17) vs. 3. New Mexico 38-21
1. Virginia (37-20) vs. 4. William & Mary (29-29)
2. Bryant (47-10) vs. 3. East Carolina 34-21-1
1. (No. 2 national seed) Louisville (47-12) vs. 4. Western Michigan (22-32)
2. Ohio State (43-18-1) vs. 3. Wright State (44-15)
1. Vanderbilt (43-17) vs. 4. Xavier (30-28)
2. UC-Santa Barbara (37-18-1 vs. 3. Washington (32-21)
1. (No. 7 national seed) Clemson (42-18) vs. 4. Western Carolina (30-29)
2. Oklahoma State (36-20) vs. 3. Nebraska (37-20)
1. South Carolina (42-15) vs. 4. Rhode Island (30-25)
2. UNCW (39-17) vs. 3. Duke (33-22)
Coral Gables Regional
1. (No. 3 national seed) Miami (45-11) vs. 4. Stetson (29-29)
2. Florida Atlantic (38-17) vs. 3. Long Beach State (36-20)
1. Ole Miss (43-17) vs. 4. Utah (25-27)
2. Tulane (39-19) vs. 3. Boston College 31-20
1. (No. 6 national seed) Mississippi State (41-16-1) vs. 4. Southeast Missouri State (39-19)
2. Cal State Fullerton (35-21) vs. 3. Louisiana Tech (40-18)
1. UL-Lafayette (41-19) vs. 4. Princeton (24-19)
2. Arizona (38-20) vs. 3. Sam Houston State (41-20)