The college baseball season is down to the "Sweet Sixteen". The action gets started Friday afternoon in four venues, while the other four venues will start on Saturday. There are thirteen #1 seeds, two #2 seeds, and a #3 seed left in the tournament. There have been very few surprises from last weekend's action; however, the top seeds were pressed a little bit. Will that pressure get to them this weekend? Will there be any surprise trips to Omaha? After this weekend's action the tournament will shift to Omaha and the "Elite Eight" will be ready to have those famous Omaha milkshakes waiting on them.
Friday through Sunday series
#2 NATIONAL SEED - FULLERTON SUPER REGIONAL
Louisville (3-1 in Louisville Regional) vs. Cal State Fullerton (3-0 in Fullerton Regional)
Both teams advanced on their home turf last weekend. Vanderbilt gave Louisville all they could handle as they forced a winner take all game on Monday, which the Cardinals took 5-3. Cal State Fullerton was not tested in their three games with their closest game being a 7-4 win over Gonzaga. The Titans are on a roll and look for them to sweep their way to Omaha.
TALLAHASSEE SUPER REGIONAL
Arkansas (3-0 in Norman Regional) vs. Florida State (3-0 in Tallhassee Regional)
Florida State pretty much rolled to the regional crown despite a close game against Georgia on Saturday in which they broke open a tight game to win 8-2. On Sunday, the Seminoles put up an NCAA record 37 runs in a rout of Ohio State. Arkansas did some nice work themselves by posting double digit runs in each of their three victories. This included two wins of #7 National Seed Oklahoma. With both teams hitting the ball extremely well, this series will come down to pitching. Seminole ace Sean Gilmartin will be the key to the Seminoles advancing, which they should in two good games.
#3 NATIONAL SEED - BATON ROUGE SUPER REGIONAL
Rice (4-1 in Houston Regional) vs. LSU (3-0 in Baton Rouge Regional)
Are you looking for a Super Regional to attend? This would be the one, if you can still get a ticket. Both teams are evenly matched as they can pitch, play defense, and hit. Both have a history of success. The one difference that I can find is that Rice had to play five games last weekend and now travel to Baton Rouge. LSU fans will not roll out the red carpet for them. Look for the Tigers to advance in a three-game set.
OXFORD SUPER REGIONAL
Virginia (3-0 in Irvine Regional) vs. Mississippi (3-1 in Oxford Regional)
All the talk before the games last week was that Virginia received a raw deal in being shipped out west into the toughest regional. Their answer to the issue was to sweep their way to the regional title by only allowing two runs in three games! The Rebels got an outstanding performance by Drew Pomeranz on Monday. He only allowed two hits in leading the Rebels to regional championship. Virginia looks like they will have too much for Mississippi; however, the Rebels are pretty good at home. This is just not a good matchup for the Rebels and the Cavaliers take the series in two.
Saturday through Monday series
#1 NATIONAL SEED - AUSTIN SUPER REGIONAL
TCU (3-0 in Fort Worth Regional) vs. Texas (3-0 in Austin Regional)
Texas endured the 25 inning game with Boston College to sweep their way to the next round. They should be plenty rested as the Horned Frogs make the trip to Austin this weekend. TCU will not go easily as they cruised to the regional championship which saw them take two from former champion Oregon State. The Longhorns did not put up lots of runs and had to come back in Sunday's game to beat Army for the championship. If TCU can put up runs, they might have a shot at knocking off the top-seeded Longhorns; however, they will come up short in being swept.
#8 NATIONAL SEED - GAINESVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
Southern Mississippi (3-1 in Atlanta Regional) vs. Florida (3-0 in Gainesville Regional)
Florida swept their way to the regional title by pounding their in-state rival Miami twice. The Gators were tested in their opening game by Bethune-Cookman but rolled it up the next two days by a combined 24-7 score over the Hurricanes. Southern Mississippi is the lowest seeded team remaining in the tournament. Coach Corky Palmer's retirement was put on hold for another week; however, he certainly does not mind as the Golden Eagles advanced to the Super Regionals for the first time ever. The Golden Eagles split a three-game series with Georgia Tech, which included a 12-8 victory on Monday. Southern Mississippi appears to be the team of destiny this year and will not go down without a fight. They will take the Gators to a game three before Florida prevails and advances to Omaha.
#4 NATIONAL SEED - TEMPE SUPER REGIONAL
Clemson (4-1 in Clemson Regional) vs. Arizona State (3-0 in Tempe Regional)
The Sun Devils had it on cruise control all weekend in advancing to the Super Regionals. They were never tested and the region did not feature Fresno State, as was the case last season. Clemson had to win three games after dropping a 3-2 decision to Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Tigers did win the three games including two over the Cowboys, 15-1 and 6-5. After playing the five games, the Tigers will travel west. This might just prove to be too much for them as the Sun Devils take two and book travel to Nebraska.
#5 NATIONAL SEED - CHAPEL HILL SUPER REGIONAL
East Carolina (4-1 in Greenville Regional) vs. North Carolina (3-0 in Chapel Hil Regional)
Regional rivals face off in Chapel Hill this weekend. East Carolina had to fight back from the loser's bracket after getting beat 12-2 by South Carolina. They did so by taking out Binghamton and then taking two from South Carolina, 8-6 and 10-9. North Carolina had no problems dispatching of Dartmouth, Coastal Carolina, and Kansas on their way to advancing. The Tar Heels have been here and beyond. Experience is a huge factor in this series; however, East Carolina did not overtake Rice for the Conference USA Regular Season Championship without hard work. Look for this series to go three games and the Tar Heels advancing in a close one.