Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Volunteers’ Dominance Earned Him the No. 1 Seed in NCAA Baseball

OMAHA, Neb. ( Associated Press) — Tennessee was voted the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Baseball Tournament on Monday after finishing one of the most impressive runs in Southeast Conference history.

The Volunteers (53–7) won 31 of their first 32 games, won the SEC regular season and tournament titles. And has the best pitching and batting statistics in the country.

They have been the unanimous No. 1 team in all elections except one week from 28 March and entered the regionals, winning eight consecutive and 12 out of 13.

The 64-team tournament opens on Friday in 16 regionals. The winners advance to the best eight of three Super Regionals. Those winners go to the College World Series in Omaha.

The top eight national seeds are assured of hosting the Super Regional if they win their regionals.

National seeds after Tennessee: Stanford (41-14), Oregon State (44-15), Virginia Tech (41-12), Texas A&M (37-18), Miami (39-18), Oklahoma State ( 39-20 ) and East Carolina (42-18).

Stanford, who won the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles, is the national seed for the first time since being No. 2 in 2018. Oregon State gives the Pac-12 two of the top three seeds for the first time.

Virginia Tech, which was selected second in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference, is its highest seed in the program’s history. And will play in a regional for the first time since 2013.

Texas A&M won their last seven SEC series under first-year coach Jim Schlossnagel to receive a national seed after not making the tournament last year.

East Carolina will play in the tournament for the 32nd time. The Pirates hold the distinction of performing the most without reaching a CWS.

Seeds nine to 16: Texas (42-19), North Carolina (38-19), Southern Mississippi (43-16), Louisville (38-18-1), Florida (39-22), Auburn (37-19) , Maryland (45-12) and Georgia Southern (40-18).

The ACC and SEC selected the most teams with nine teams. The Big 12 and Pac-12 each received five teams, and the Sun Belt Conference fields four teams.

Tennessee opens the regional game against Alabama State (34–23). Other teams playing in Knoxville are Campbell (40-17) and Georgia Tech (34-22).

The final four teams were Florida State, Grand Canyon, Liberty and Mississippi. The first four outs were North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Rutgers and Wofford.

Selection committee chairman and Army athletic director Mike Buddy said Ole Miss got the nod at NC State because it had a slightly stronger performance in the regular-season conference series.

NC State and Ole Miss each won four of the 10 conference series, but only one of the Wolfpack was against a team in the NCAA region (Georgia Tech), while the Rebels had series victories over LSU and Auburn.

“He was a brute,” Buddy said. “When it comes to the last three or four teams, you really have to part hairs. Baseball is a game played in a series. We weren’t looking at one-game scenarios unless that was the only data point. ,

Other notes about the tournament:

— Longest streak in the state of Florida with 44 consecutive straight appearances. Other notable consecutive stripes include Vanderbilt (16) and Florida (14).

– Köppin State (24-28) and Hofstra (30-21) making their debuts. Air Force (30-27) making it the first time since 1969.

– The best regional story may be the two-day meeting between Texas A&M and TCU in College Station. Schlossnagle left TCU after last season for the Aggies job. The coach of TCU is Kirk Saarloos, who was an assistant under Schlossnagle for 10 years.

– Michigan (32-26) was one of the big bid stealers, winning the conference tournament an automatic berth of the Big Ten as fifth seed and denying Rutgers a spot.

– Kopin is among three teams to lose the State record. The others are Binghamton (22–28) and New Mexico State (24–32).


More Associated Press College Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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