The Louisville Baseball program was shaping up to have an amazing 2020 season. The Cardinals were 13-4 (2-1 in ACC play), ranked as high as the No. 2 team in the country (D1Baseball, Perfect Game), and had previously been tabbed as the preseason No. 1 team in the nation. They had also been voted by league coaches as the favorite to win the ACC.
But unfortunately, we'll never know how high the Cards would have flown in Dan McDonnell's 14th year as the head coach. Barely one month into the season, the NCAA was forced to cancel all remaining winter and spring championships because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the College World Series.
But just because there's no college baseball, doesn't mean we can't project how the NCAA Tournament field would have looked right?
Well on what would have been "Selection Monday" for college baseball, that's exactly what the folks over at D1Baseball and College Baseball Nation did. Take a look at the regional draw each website had for the Cardinals:
- 1. Louisville* (2)
- 2. Auburn
- 3. Indiana
- 4. Hartford*
College Baseball Nation:
- 1. Louisville* (4)
- 2. Auburn
- 3. Wright State*
- 4. Pennsylvania*
Both projected that Louisville would have been one of the top five seeds in the NCAA Tournament, and would have grabbed an automatic qualifier bid by winning the ACC Baseball Championship.
Both list the Auburn Tigers as the same No. 2 seed in the theoretical Louisville Regional, which would be a CWS rematch from a year ago.
As for the No. 3 seed, it gets interesting. D1Baseball projects the Indiana Hoosiers, while CBN projects the Wright State Raiders, who Louisville lost to 10-3 on Feb. 19 in a midweek affair.
The No. 4 seed consists of projected America East winner Hartford, and projected Ivy League winner Pennsylvania.
If the favorite were to win each regional in both projections, it would have made for very entertaining Super Regionals. D1Baseball would have had the Cards go up against the Arkansas Razorbacks, while CBN pits them against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Arkansas' Heston Kjerstad & Arizona State's Spencer Torkelson each smacked six home runs in the shortened 2020 season (tied for 19th in D1), and both are projected as top 10 picks in the upcoming 2020 MLB Draft.
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