We're going to do more analysis of each of these regionals as the week moves on, but here's a top level view. The SEC has teams in half of the 16 regionals, which is basically simple math when you have a nation-leading eight berths in the tournament. Note: Two of the four Big 12 teams in the tournament this season will be in the SEC as of July 1, with Missouri heading to Tuscon. We'll get to Texas A&M in a few moments.
|3||College of Charleston|
There's nothing particularly noteworthy about the opponents in this regional. There are a couple of automatic bids and a bubble team here. Of course, as No. 1 seeds, the Gators are supposed to have the easiest schedule in the field. The are paired with the Raleigh field, which also has an SEC team in it.
Sacred Heart is pretty bad -- an RPI of 214. But the top three teams in the regional are all in the Top 41. And we know about how hot Vanderbilt is right now. I would expect the Wolfpack and Commodores to be the teams to decide this one.
THIS REGIONAL IS FOR ALL THE BARBEQUE SAUCES! It's actually a fascinating clash of the different regions of South Carolina -- Upstate (Clemson), Midlands (South Carolina) and Lowcountry (Coastal Carolina). And, of course, Manhattan -- which is not actually in Manhattan at all, but the Bronx. At 139, it is also 100 spots in the RPI below Coastal Carolina, the next lowest-ranked team in the region. Winner is paired with the Charlottesville regional champion.
A team that will host a regional and a team that should have hosted a regional meet in what's a pretty easy bracket otherwise. Neither Kent State nor Valparaiso is a serious threat to go on a run. The Wildcats and the Boilermakers are probably on a collision course to see who faces the winner of the Eugene regional.
|3||Sam Houston State
|4||Prairie View A&M
This is a great regional for Arkansas. Rice is the regional host with the lowest RPI, Sam Houston State is 51 and Prairie View is 224. That's about as good a set-up as you can ask for if you're the Razorbacks and gives them a decent chance of squaring off with the champion of the Waco regional.
|College Station Regional|
Call it the realignment bracket. Texas A&M and TCU are both moving after this season, and the Aggies are heading to the conference that Ole Miss calls home. TAMU has to be seen as the favorite to win this and play against the winner out in Los Angeles.
|Baton Rouge Regional|
This regional contains two recent former College World Series winners in LSU and Oregon State. It's not the strongest regional in the world outside of the two top seeds. The winner faces the champion of the
Kentucky Memorial Coral Gables regional.
Florida State gets one of the toughest draws of a No. 2 seed with Mississippi State. Samford is also not exactly a slouch. The winner, which might just be Mississippi State, is paired with the Palo Alto regional champion.