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NCAA Baseball Tournament 2013: Tallahassee Regional Preview -- The Teams Alabama Will Face

Alabama heads south to Tallahassee to take on Florida State's regional, which also includes a Sun Belt contender who can hit the ball out of the park and a MEAC team that's kind of just along for the ride

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

Looking at the NCAA baseball tournament regionals that involve SEC teams

Winner faces winner of the Bloomington Regional

(1) Florida State
RPI: 8
Record: 44-15, 20-10 ACC

The Seminoles are sort of the Atlanta Braves of college baseball at this point; Mike Martin has taken Florida State to 33 straight NCAA tournaments and gone to Omaha 15 times, but never actually won the College World Series. They're still dangerous at this stage of the tournament -- the Seminoles have lost just three games at home all season. When you start out the season on a 16-game winning streak, you're just not going to lose that many games anywhere. FSU has a team-wide .406 on-base percentage and three starting players slugging better than .500 on the season: DJ Stewart (.534), Stephen McGee (.522) and Marcus Davis (.500). Scott Sitz, with a 1.73 ERA, leads the pitching staff. And they have a guy who can do things like this. Florida State was 2-1 against Florida, the only SEC team they played this year.

(2) Alabama
RPI: 25
Record: 34-26, 14-14 SEC

The Crimson Tide went from bubble team to sure thing for the NCAA tournament after a solid performance in Hoover. But, for the most part, they were not a surprising team this year -- they beat the teams you expect to beat and lost to the teams you expect to have trouble with. The Tide was 12th in the SEC in on-base percentage, 13th in slugging percentage and 10th in ERA. Keep an eye on Mikey White, whose OPS in SEC games was .895. The Tide did defeat Troy, their opponent in the first regional game, 11-2 earlier this month.

(3) Troy
RPI: 40
Record: 40-18, 20-10 Sun Belt

It's always tough to weigh batting numbers when you're looking at college baseball leagues like the Sun Belt, but at least when paired against their conference opponent pitchers, the Trojans can flat-out rake. Troy smashed 52 home runs this year and slugged .463 as a team. Trae Santos had 16 homers and Danny Collins had 11 while slugging .646; his OPS was 1.101, which would have been impressive even in the pre-BBCOR days. The flip side of that is that the Trojans' rotation is okay but not particularly great, and the team as a whole has a 4.06 ERA, so teams can also hit against them. It's just that very few have been able to keep up with them this season.

(4) Savannah State
RPI: 184
Record: 33-21, 17-7 MEAC

This team is so weak, it could have beaten Virginia Tech during the regular season. (I'll be here all week.) Actually, Savannah State wasn't completely and totally terrible -- it's just that without the MEAC tournament win, the Tigers would absolutely not be in the NCAA tournament this year. The RPI tells the tale. Their team OPS just barely clears .700 (literally; it's .701), they got outscored by 22 runs this year and posted a team ERA of 4.85. Most of that run differential came when they played their only BCS-league opponent this year: Georgia Tech, which blasted Savannah State 14-1 in mid-April.