On Selection Monday, What Might Have Been For Wolfpack Baseball

The staff of D1Baseball.com has NC State projected to have been the No. 12 overall seed and a regional host for the NCAA baseball tournament had the season not been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic
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Monday would have been the day in which the field of 64 teams, along with regional hosts, would have been announced for this year's NCAA baseball tournament. 

Since that's not happening because of the coronavirus crisis that shut down sports all across the country in mid-March, the staff of D1 Baseball has projected what the field might have looked like had the event been played.

And it would have looked good for NC State.

Based on its strong 14-3 start, which included a three-game sweep of Big Ten teams at the Cambria College Classic in Minnesota, the Wolfpack was slotted as the No. 12 overall seed and a regional host.

The projection had coach Elliott Avent's team in the same bracket as No. 2 regional seed Michigan, No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 NC A&T. 

The survivor of the group would then advance to a Super Regional against the winner of the Athens, Ga., Regional. That region would have included No. 5 overall seed Georgia, Clemson, Georgia Southern and Samford.

Besides State and Clemson, D1 baseball had six other ACC teams in the field.

Louisville was the No. 2 overall seed, Miami was No. 7 and Duke No. 10, all of which would host regionals. Florida State was seeded second in the Orlando Regional behind Central Florida, Virginia was No. 3 in Vanderbilt's Nashville Regional while Georgia Tech was also a three in Mississippi State's Starkville Regional.

Two teams conspicuously missing from the projections are Wake Forest and North Carolina. The Tar Heels were 12-7 and coming off a sweep at the hands of Notre Dame in their opening weekend of ACC play when the season was halted.

D1 Baseball's Aaron Fitt explained UNC's omission on the publication's podcast by calling it "a flawed team."

But as Avent said in a recent interview with SI All Wolfpack, there was still a lot of baseball left to be played and a lot of things could easily have changed over the course of the conference schedule.

"I try not to think about it," the Wolfpack coach said. "There's so much else going on in the world right now. You watch the news and people are losing their businesses, you see people protesting, people getting sick. There are so many other terrible stories going on that I just feel bad for that.

"There's no need to think about it or dwell on (the season being canceled). You know it happened. You just try to focus on how you can make things better and keep pluggling along."

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