Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"Super" regionals, not so much

So the first round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament is finally in the books.

And I may have to revoke the praise I gave the selection committee a little more than a week ago. Or maybe we all should accept the greater measure of parity in the sport.

Since the committee began handing out national seeds, no No. 1 seed has won a national title. This year's No. 1 seed, Vanderbilt, is at home after being stunned by Michigan. That's right, Michigan. The Wolverines haven't been relevant in college baseball since the last time Huey Lewis and the News were near the top of the charts.

Five national seeds are at home. For those who want to compare this to March Madness, think of a Sweet 16 with one No. 1 seed remaining. The team with the easiest road to Omaha look to be defending national champ Oregon State, which will host Michigan in a Super Regional. The other seven Supers look to be just that -- super.

There are old-school rivalries (Rice-Texas A&M), border wars (North Carolina-South Carolina), a dual Cinderella story (all-hitting Oklahoma State vs. all-pitching Louisville) and one mega-conference battle at one of the sport's shrines (Clemson at Mississippi State).

All in all it looks like a great weekend of college baseball, but woe be to anyone who tries to predict what will happen.


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