This half of the bracket has a myraid of teams as #1 seeds in their regional. Some that have been there and others that want to take that next step. Most of the #2 seeds in these regionals feature teams that have either struggled down the stretch or should not be #2 seeds. There is one regional on this side that is just insane for a National Seed to be involved. We will look at that among the other 15 regionals in this section of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
#2 NATIONAL SEED - FULLERTON REGIONAL
Seeding: 1 - Cal State Fullerton, 2 - Georgia Southern, 3 - Gonzaga, 4 - Utah
Cal State Fullerton won the Big West and was installed as the #2 National Seed by the committee. The Titans, 42-14, have had another great season and look to return to Omaha for the first time since 2007. Georgia Southern, 42-15, won the Southern Conference Tournament and will be the #2 seed. They will be the home team against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, 35-16, on Friday. The Bulldogs won the West Coast Conference's automatic bid and make the field for the first time since 1981. Utah, 26-29, took home the Mountain West Conference hardware last weekend to get their first berth since 1960. This regional is the Titans to lose, if they do then someone really did something special.
Seeding: 1 - Louisville, 2 - Middle Tennessee, 3 - Vanderbilt, 4 - Indiana
Louisville hosted the Super Regional in 2007; however, they will be the Regional host in 2009. The Cardinals, 44-15, took home the dual titles in the Big East by not having to face South Florida in the title game on Sunday. Middle Tennessee duplicated the Cardinals effort by taking both titles in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders, 43-16, battled back out of the losers bracket last weekend to claim the title. Vanderbilt, 34-25, received an at-large bid out of the SEC by virtue of their run in the conference tournament. The Commodores nearly claimed the automatic bid but fell in the title game 6-2 to LSU. Indiana did claim the Big Ten title on Saturday evening. The Hoosiers, 32-25, beat Minnesota 13-2 in doing so. Again with Louisville's power, this regional is theirs for the taking but look out for Vandy as they have some pitchers to make some noise.
#7 NATIONAL SEED - NORMAN REGIONAL
Seeding: 1 - Oklahoma, 2 - Arkansas, 3 - Washington State, 4 - Wichita State
Oklahoma, like Florida, received a surprise on Monday. The Sooners, 41-18, were awarded the #7 National Seed after going 1-2 in the Big XII Tournament and finding out Sunday that they would be hosting. Arkansas, 34-22, will make the short trip over after going 2-2 in the SEC Tournament. The Razorbacks will see Washington State on Friday. The Cougars, 31-23, received an at-large bid out of the Pac 10 despite the marginal overall record. The Sooners get a bad draw having to play Wichita State, which won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Shockers, 30-25, have a formidable team and will be a tough out. The Sooners will have their hands full this weekend and will see the Razorbacks advance.
Seeding: 1 - Florida State, 2 - Georgia, 3 - Ohio State, 4 - Marist
Back in the NCAAs for the 32nd straight season, the Florida State Seminoles were looking for a national seed. With rival Florida getting one, look for the Seminoles, 42-16, to come out on the attack. Marist, 31-26 and MAAC Tournament Champions, should be on the look out for line drives and long balls on Friday against the Seminoles. The other teams, Georgia and ohio State, will meet in the other game Friday. Georgia, 37-22, looked to be on their way to a national seed or at least a host but faltered down the stretch. The Bulldogs played well last week in Hoover but just did not have enough from the big bats. Ohio State, 40-17, could not make the Big Ten Tournament Final but won the regular season crown. The Seminoles had a quick exit from Omaha last year, while Georgia fell one game short of winning the national title. Look for the Seminoles to advance.
#3 NATIONAL SEED - BATON ROUGE REGIONAL
Seeding: 1 - LSU, 2 - Minnesota, 3 - Baylor, 4 - Southern
The SEc dual title holders, the LSU Tigers, will host a regional in the New Alex Box's first season. The Tigers, 46-16, were hoping for a higher national seed but had to settle for the #3 spot. In capturing the crown last weekend, LSU did not have to use much pitching from the pen. Minnesota, 38-17, will make the trip down south as an at-large selection from the Big Ten. They will play the Baylor Bears, 29-24, who were a surprise at-large selection from the Big XII. Their RPI was enough to get them in, while Southern, 30-15, captured the SWAC Tournament Title on Sunday. This should be a realtively easy walk into the next round for the Bayou Bengals.
Seeding: 1 - Rice, 2 - Kansas State, 3 - Xavier, 4 - Sam Houston State
Rice did not win the CUSA regular season for the first time since joining. The Owls, 39-15, did capture the tournament title with an 8-6 win over Southern Mississippi. The Owls will play Southland automatic qualifier, Sam Houston State, on Friday. The Bearkats, 36-22, will not be intimidated as they swept through the tournament last weekend and have beaten Rice previously this season. First time participants, Kansas State and Xavier, face off in the other Friday game. Kansas State, 41-16-1, went 2-1 last weekend in the Big XII Tournament. Xavier, 38-19, won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and automatic bid. Rice should have an easy time with this regional but stranger things have happened.
#6 NATIONAL SEED - IRVINE REGIONAL
Seeding: 1 - UC-Irvine, 2 - Virginia, 3 - San Diego State, 4 - Fresno State
Congratulations UC-Irvine, you have been awarded the #6 National Seed. Their reward will be hosting what might be the toughest regional of the sixteen. The Anteaters, 43-13, ran away with the Big West title by beating Cal State Fullerton by 5 full games, yet the Titans are the #2 National Seed (go figure). Their first opponent on Friday will be none other than the defending National Champion Fresno State. The Bulldogs, 32-28, had to win the WAC Tournament to get a bid and obviously they did so. Just like last season, they were down to their last game in the tournament after day one but reeled off wins to claim the title. San Diego State, 40-21, has the nation's best pitcher but will have to rely on others to get the job done. Virginia, 43-12-1, wins the ACC Tournament with a 4-0 weekend and then gets shipped out west into the toughest regional. This one is too close to call but look for the Anteaters to take it down on Monday.
Seeding: 1 - Mississippi, 2 - Missouri, 3 - Western Kentucky, 4 - Monmouth
Talk about a team that wants to get over the hump and to Omaha, the Mississippi baseball team hosts another regional in hopes of doing so. The Rebels, 40-17, went to Hoover last week and promptly dropped two games. This cost them a national seed but the bigger question lies with their star player. Monmouth, 32-23, will be the Rebels first opponent. The Hawks swept through the Northeast Conference Tournament as the #4 seed in four-team tournament. Missouri, 34-25, dropped the Big XII title game to Texas but secured an at-large bid with the run. The Tigers will face off with Western Kentucky, an at-large selection from the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers, 39-18, finished second in the conference during the season and fell short of getting to the title game. The Rebels will have a time with the teams in this regional; therefore, look for Missouri to advance.