College baseball is down to the sweet 16. Eight schools will host Super Regionals this upcoming weekend. The Super Regional round is a best two-out-of-three series with the winners advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
Seven of the eight national seeds still remain as only UNC lost in the regional round. The national seeds selection was created in 1999. Since then, only in two seasons has seven of the eight national seeds made the College World Series.
Locally, there were no teams from Illinois in the NCAA tournament this season. The Big 10 conference did have two bids (tournament & regular season champ – Purdue & Michigan State) though. Purdue hosted a regional but lost after three games. Michigan State was in the Palo Alto regional in which they lost their only two games.
Here’s this weekend’s eight Super Regional matchups:
(Game times are EST)
Gainesville Super Regional – McKethan Stadium
(1) Florida (45-18) vs North Carolina State (43-18)
Game 1: Saturday June 9 – 2pm ESPNU
Game 2: Sunday June 10 – 1pm ESPNU
Game 3: Monday June 11 – 1pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
The road to the Super Regionals for both teams was quite different. Florida cruised through their regional, only playing the minimum three games. On the other hand, NC State played the maximum five games including having to beat Vanderbilt twice in a row. The Gators are making yet another appearance (fourth consecutive) in the Super Regionals. NC State is playing in their third Super Regional since 2003.
Prediction: Florida 2-0
Columbia Super Regional – Carolina Stadium
(8) South Carolina (43-17) vs Oklahoma (42-33)
Game 1: Saturday June 9 – 8pm ESPNU
Game 2: Sunday June 10 – 7pm ESPNU
Game 3: Monday June 11- 7pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
The OU Sooners are heading into the Columbia Super Regional with a 12-4 record in their last 16 games (including 5-0 vs Baylor). They’ll meet the number eight national seed, South Carolina Gamecocks who stormed through their regional. The Gamecocks have won 22 straight postseason games at home.
Prediction: South Carolina 2-0
Eugene Super Regional – PK Park
(5) Oregon (45-17) vs Kent State (44-17)
Game 1: Saturday June 9 – 11pm ESPNU
Game 2: Sunday June 10 – 10pm ESPNU
Game 3: Monday June 11 – 7pm ESPNU (IF NECESSARY)
Gary regional champion, Kent State is one of the surprise teams in the Super Regional round. Kent State already took down two highly ranked teams (Kentucky and Purdue) in the regional as they look to take down Oregon. The Oregon Ducks reinstated their baseball program just a few years back in 2009 (not fielding a baseball program since 1981). This is the third straight year Oregon’s baseball team has made the NCAA tournament and will be looking for their second-ever trip to Omaha.
Prediction: Oregon 2-1
Waco Super Regional – Baylor Ballpark
(4) Baylor (48-15) vs Arkansas (42-19)
Game 1: Saturday June 9 – 5pm ESPNU
Game 2: Sunday June 10 – 4pm ESPNU
Game 3: Monday June 11 – 4pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
After starting the season in the top 10 of every major poll, Arkansas finished the season in second place in the SEC West division. The Razorbacks will attempt to meet those high expectations if they can get to the College World Series. Baylor is having a very impressive season, as they once had a school-record 21 game-winning streak. Baylor has struggled of late, losing in their conference tournament and struggled to advance in their regional. The Bears put all their high expectations on the line against a tough SEC opponent in Arkansas.
Prediction: Baylor 2-1
Los Angeles Super Regional – Jackie Robinson Stadium
(2) UCLA (45-14) vs TCU (40-20)
Game 1: Friday June 8 – 9pm ESPN
Game 2: Saturday June 9 – 9pm ESPN2
Game 3: Sunday June 10 – 10pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
TCU continues their improbable run as they surprising won the College Station regional. After losing their opening game, TCU had to run the table in the loser’s bracket and defeat Ole Miss twice to win the regional. The number two national UCLA Bruins have rolling behind a deep pitching staff with four pitchers having an ERA under 3.00. UCLA will look to prove they are the number two team in the nation by getting to the College World Series again.
Prediction: UCLA 2-0
Baton Rouge Super Regional – Alex Box Stadium
(7) LSU (46-16) vs Stony Brook (50-12)
Friday June 8 – Noon ESPN2
Saturday June 9 – Noon ESPN2
Sunday June 10 – 1pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
America East regular season and tournament champion, Stony Brook surprised just about everyone by winning the Coral Gables regional, defeating Miami (FL), UCF, and Missouri State. LSU has been pretty dominant all season along, enduring a tough SEC schedule. The Tigers did not even make the NCAA tournament last season but won the National Championship in 2009.
Prediction: LSU 2-0
Tucson Super Regional – Hi Corbett Stadium
Arizona (41-17) vs St. John’s (40-21)
Friday June 8 – 3pm ESPN2
Saturday June 9 – 3pm ESPN2
Sunday June 10 – 4pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
St. John’s is playing in their first ever Super Regional after winning the Chapel Hill regional. The Red Storm have been tested this year and won the Big East tournament championship. Arizona is looking to get back to the College World Series for the first time since 2004.
Prediction: St. John’s 2-1
Tallahassee Super Regional – Dick Howser Stadium
(3) Florida State (46-15) vs Stanford (41-16)
Friday June 8 – 7pm ESPN2
Saturday June 9 – 6pm ESPN2
Sunday June 10 – 7pm ESPN2 (IF NECESSARY)
Prediction: Florida State 2-1
This is a matchup of two historically storied programs in college baseball. Both head coaches have been at their respective schools for over 30 years (FSU’s Mike Martin – 33 years & Stanford’s Mark Marquess – 32 years). Stanford has produced major league talent such as Jack McDowell, Mike Mussina and Carlos Quentin. Florida State baseball alumni include names like Buster Posey, Stephen Drew and Deion Sanders. The two schools last met in the 2008 College World Series elimination game, won by Stanford 16-5.
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