With the NCAA Supers taking over the weekend, we talked with college baseball aficionado and perhaps one of your favorite college baseball Twitter accounts, @valleyshook, about this weekend’s action and the projections for Omaha!
1. After a busy Regionals weekend, what were the biggest takeaways in your opinion?
I think that, for all the worry about seeding and locations, the NCAA did pretty well considering the sometimes limited data they had to work with. 11 of 16 regional hosts advanced, which is about what would be expected in a normal year. No system is perfect, but the NCAA baseball postseason is still consistently the best championship setup in college sports and ESPN does a great job covering everything, even when up to 10 games are going on at once. As far as actual results, Florida’s dramatic fall from preseason #1 to an 18-run loss to South Alabama that eliminated them has to be the biggest surprise of the Regional round.
2. Of the teams left in the Supers, which host do you think has the greatest chance of being hit with an upset?
I’m disqualifying Virginia “hosting” Dallas Baptist in South Carolina because the situation is just too weird. I think Notre Dame over Mississippi State is the best pick for an upset. The Irish were quietly dominant in the ACC and ran roughshod over their regional. Starkville will be a madhouse, no doubt, but Notre Dame’s bats might be hot enough to silence the crowd.
3. What will be the most competitive Super Regionals series?
I’m gonna put my bias right out front here and say it’s Tennessee-LSU. Between Paul Mainieri’s potential last weekend and the fact that Tennessee swept this series in the regular season by a combined 4 runs, this has a good chance to be the tightest contest of the weekend. Add in the intrigue of LSU looking to potentially hire Tony Vitello and a Tennessee fan base that seems to have finally come alive after a long slumber, and you’ve got a great recipe for drama. If I force myself to pick a different matchup, I think Texas Tech-Stanford is going to be a real drag out fight.
4. Who do you see making it to Omaha?
Put me down for Arkansas, TX Tech, Arizona, Vandy, Texas, Notre Dame, Dallas Baptist, and LSU