By: CBN | 5/29/12
|All-American Mike Zunino and |
Florida were named the top
overall seed on Monday.
It started out tranquil with the eight national seeds that went as expected, although it was a minor shock that the Florida Gators got the top overall seed instead of a UCLA or maybe Florida St. For the most part thought, no complaints there. However, as the tournament field continued to reveal itself it became quite evident that this would be another controversial year for the NCAA Selection Committee. (For those counting at home, this is the 66th straight year that at least one team is left scratching its head. Yes, that is same number of total College World Series' and yes, that was a made up stat).
A red flag went up on Sunday when the 16 host sites were announced and one of those was in Coral Gables, the home of the Miami Hurricanes who, despite and RPI of 10, were in the middle of the pack in the ACC this year and only had 36 wins to show for it. Keep in mind, these host sites were announced before the ACC Championship Game. Whether that helped the Hurricanes or not remains to be seen as they ended up losing to Georgia Tech.
Teams like Kentucky, Cal St. Fullerton, and even a red hot Mississippi State all had a compelling case for a host. It could be argued that all three were much more impressive than the 'Canes for much of the 2012 season.
Be that as it may, Jim Morris' boys are going to be hosting at A-Rod Park this Friday when the road to Omaha-Nebraska begins for real. But before we get to the first pitch, here are a couple of things that should be noted from yesterday's selection show.
The Surprise Entrants
Despite losing it's final series of the season to Penn State, finishing fifth in the Big Ten standings, and a mediocre showing in the conference tournament, the Michigan State Spartans were among one of the teams that will be playing postseason ball this weekend. They get to travel to sunny Palo Alto as part of Stanford's regional where they will take on a dangerous Pepperdine club.
According to committee chairman and Big South Commisioner Kyle Kallander, the reason for the Spartan's inclusion was a tough out of conference schedule that included Louisville, St. John's, Baylor, and Texas A&M.
Make sure that the record shows that Michigan St. went 2-5 in games against those teams.
You know Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney is smiling at that one. He knew coming in that he already had one team hosting in Purdue, but to get a second team in off the bubble and a year after he went on that rant about how college baseball has a prejudice against northern schools? ...Hmmm.
The College of Charleston also is thanking the powers that be for giving them an at large bid despite a 2-and-Q performance last week in the Southern Conference Tournament. I guess a share of the regular season title and a RPI in the 40's is enough to get the nod. No real complaints on that one, the Cougars have been a good mid-major program for years and their potent bats could make some noise in Gainesville this weekend.
With every surprise comes a snub and there were definitely a few. The one resume that jumps out right off the bat is that of the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. Despite a late plea via a twitter bombardment from the athletic department, the Lions narrowly missed out on postseason baseball for the third straight season, leading to a string of angry tweet from Head Coach Jay Artigues.
For what it's worth, and it isn't much, the Lions should have definitely been included in the field this year. The watermark on their resume is a two game sweep of SEC Tournament champs Mississippi State, but it goes much further than that. The Lions finished second to Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference and outlasted the Bearkats in the conference tourney, making it to the finals only to lose to UT-Arlington. Southeastern was 9-4 against teams that ended up making a regional and were one win shy from that magical 40-win plateau.