So far, LSU was the only national seed to avoid having a loss in what has turned out to be a very bad tournament for the teams ranked as the top eight in the nation. The Tigers swept through the Baton Rouge Regional -- the stage of the tournament that eliminated Oregon -- and took two straight against Oklahoma in the super regional round, which took out Vanderbilt, Cal State Fullerton, Virginia and Florida State. UNC and Oregon State emerged only after seeing their super regionals go all three games.
So when the Tar Heels and the Beavers lost their initial College World Series games as well, there was no reason to necessarily think things would change for LSU, which was emerging as perhaps the favorite in Omaha. That was before Sunday night, when UCLA defeated LSU and officially put on the national seeds on notice that this might not be their year.
There is some talk about the two errors in the game, which did help UCLA, but one of the biggest problems for LSU was a nearly complete lack of offense. When your starting pitcher just gives up two unearned runs, you have to be able to win the game. But LSU managed just five hits all night, and the only one that plated a run was Mason Katz's fourth-inning home run (the first by anyone so far in Omaha). When you score just one run and strand seven, you're pretty much going to get what you ask for.
The Bengals now have a day to get ready for their next game: An elimination game against UNC, which lost earlier Sunday to N.C. State. Whoever wins that game will face a long uphill climb to the championship game, but they'll at least have a chance to salvage their season.
The loser will be yet another national seed that sees its season come to a surprising end. What's new?