....Sixteen league tournaments get underway on Wednesday, most notably those in the Atlantic Sun, Big South, Big Ten, Big XII, CUSA, SEC, and Sun Belt. SCS.com will be covering those events in detail in addition to the already-begun ACC Tournament and the Big East Tournament, which begins on Thursday.
....The first three games of the 2005 ACC Tournament were played Tuesday. Wake Forest and Maryland came out on top in the opening two contests, with the Demon Deacons advancing to take on top-seeded Georgia Tech at 6:00 PM CST Wednesday, the final game of the day. But before that takes place, (3) Miami and (6) NC State get the day started with a 9:00 AM CST first pitch. Game two at 12:00 PM CST will match (2) Clemson against (7) Virginia. The Cavaliers could really use a win over the Tigers to boost their NCAA hopes. The third game of the day will pit (4) Florida State against (5) North Carolina with first pitch set for 3:00 PM CST. Both of those squads once had NCAA hosting aspirations, but now it appears only one, perhaps the one that fares best this week, will host.
....Regular season champion Troy and Gardner-Webb hit the field first on Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST. The 3/4 matchup has UCF and Stetson going head-to-head at 2:00 PM CST, before second-seeded Florida Atlantic takes on fifth-seed Georgia State in the nightcap at 6:00 PM CST. FAU and UCF both need wins to improve their NCAA hopes.
....Top-seeded Coastal Carolina is hosting this week's tournament and will take on Radford at 10:00 AM CST to get things started. Second-seeded Winthrop and Virginia Military hit the field for game two at 2:00 PM CST, and then third-seed Birmingham-Southern and fourth-seed Liberty finish the day's activity with a 6:00 PM CST starter. CCU and WU are locks for NCAA play, but BSU needs to have a good week, maybe even win the tournament, to improve their postseason hopes.
....With the top two seeds sitting day one out, the activity gets underway at 12:00 PM CST with a 4/5 matchup between Michigan and Ohio State. Game two has third-seeded Iowa battling sixth-seeded Minnesota in a game scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM CST. The Wolverines have an impressive resume but must avoid an early exit in order to earn a NCAA berth.
....A full day of four games gets things started in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. The 10:00 AM CST contest has (3) Texas and (6) Oklahoma State going head-to-head. Game two is set for 1:00 PM CST and will feature Big XII co-champ Baylor and seventh-seeded Kansas. Game three pits the 4 and 5 seeds, Missouri and Oklahoma, at 5:00 PM CST before the top-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers take on Texas Tech in the 8:00 PM CST nightcap. With the top five seeds all but in the NCAA Tournament, it's a big day (and week) for the likes of Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Texas Tech to show they're NCAA-worthy.
....A full slate of four games Wednesday gets underway at 9:00 AM CST when host Southern Miss takes on (6) South Florida. The 12:30 PM CST contest will pit second-seeded TCU against Louisville. Top-seeded Tulane plays in the third game of the day against UAB, with the first pitch set for 4:00 PM CST. The final game of the day begins at 7:30 PM CST and will have (4) East Carolina and (5) Houston going head-to-head.
....Game one of four Wednesday is a rematch of last weekend's series in Starkville. Second-seed LSU will take on Mississippi State for the fourth time in six days; first pitch is set for 10:00 AM CST. The 1:00 PM CST afternoon game pits two East squads, (3) Tennessee and (6) South Carolina. (8) Arkansas and top-seed Florida get the evening activity underway at 5:00 PM CST before (4) Mississippi and (5) Alabama finish the day's action at 8:00 PM CST. South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Arkansas likely need just one win to feel comfortable heading into selection day.
....With first pitch set for 9:30 AM CST, (3) FIU and (6) Arkansas State get the 2005 Sun Belt Tournament underway. Game two is set for 12:30 PM CST and will have second-seeded South Alabama battling (7) New Orleans. The mid-afternoon 3:30 PM CST starter is the 4/5 game featuring Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State. The final game of the day begins at 6:30 PM CST, with top-seed Louisiana-Lafayette taking on Western Kentucky.
....Teams that desperately need to win their conference tournaments: Birmingham-Southern, Florida International, Houston, Illinois, Kansas, Louisville, South Alabama, South Florida, Texas Tech
....Teams that need several wins this week: Florida Atlantic, Michigan, Oklahoma State, UCF
....Teams that could use just a win or two this week: Arkansas, East Carolina, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, St. John's
....More of the same coming on Thursday!
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