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Jonathanís Journal
May 30, 2001

Grading My Own Regional Predictions and Other Notes From Around the World of College Baseball
Well, the sub-regionals are over, and we venture off into the world of 2-team, 3-game series (for the most part), known as the Super Regionals. All eight of the national seeds, as determined by the NCAA Baseball Committee, advanced through the regional they hosted, and moved to the Super Regionals, which will be hosted by those eight national seeds. Hereís the lineup of games coming up this weekend: Mississippi State at CS-Fullerton; Rice at Nebraska; LSU at Tulane; South Carolina at Stanford; Clemson at Miami; Tennessee at East Carolina; Florida State at Georgia; and Florida International at Southern Cal.
Hereís a breakdown on how I picked the regionals compared to how they turned out. I got 10 of the 16 correct. Of the 6 I missed, the team I picked to win played in the championship game of that regional three times (Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and Winthrop), came in third place twice (South Alabama and Arizona State), and finished fourth place once (Georgia Tech). Hereís how it all happened:
--Coral Gables- Winner: Miami; I picked: Miami; Hereís how it happened: Hurricanes eased past Bucknell and Florida and then joined Stetson in championship game, only to beat them by eight runs.
--Clemson- Winner: Clemson; I picked: South Alabama; Hereís what went wrong: The Jags were upset on Friday by #4 Seton Hall, and then lost to them again in Game 5 on Saturday night, after eliminating William and Mary Saturday morning.
--Tallahassee- Winner: Florida State; I picked: Florida State; Hereís how it happened: The Seminoles eased past Bethune-Cookman and then beat Auburn on Saturday by four. The Tigers fought through losers bracket just in time to lose to FSU again, this time by three.
--Athens- Winner: Georgia; I picked: Georgia Tech; Hereís what went wrong: The Jackets were knocked off by #3 Co. Carolina, who also beat GA Southern, who beat Georgia (still with me?), which really shook up the bracket. GA Tech was promptly eliminated by in-state rival Georgia early Saturday morning.
--Palo Alto- Winner: Stanford; I picked: Stanford; Hereís how it happened: Stanford beat a tough Marist team twice (barely), losing to Texas in between, but then fought back to eliminate the Longhorns on Sunday with two wins in the championship game.
--Columbia- Winner: South Carolina; I picked: South Carolina; Hereís how it happened: After beating The Citadel, the Gamecocks lost to C. Florida, forcing USC to fight through losersí bracket and beat them twice on Sunday, which they did, to win the regional.
--Fullerton- Winner: CS-Fullerton; I picked: Arizona State; Hereís what went wrong: After winning over Texas Tech, the Sun Devils lost bad to CSF Saturday and could not recover in time to beat Texas Tech Saturday night. The Red Raiders went on to beat the Titans once, but CSF won the second game, advancing to the Super Regionals.
--Columbus- Winner: Mississippi State; I picked: Mississippi State; Hereís how it happened: The Bulldogs fought through tough games on Friday and Saturday against Kent State and Delaware (while Ohio State was first one out) and met the Golden Flashes again on Sunday, this time winning by ten runs and advancing to the Super Regionals.
--Knoxville- Winner: Tennessee; I picked: Wake Forest; Hereís what went wrong: The Deacons were knocked off on Day One by 4th-seeded Tennessee Tech, but fought through losersí bracket to meet UT for championship. The Vols lost the first game but recovered in time to capture title and advance.
--Lincoln- Winner: Nebraska; I picked: Nebraska; Hereís how it happened: The Cornhuskers blew away Northern Iowa and then won two close ones from Rutgers, who hosted a regional last year, to advance to the Super Regionals.
--Houston- Winner: Rice; I picked: Rice; Hereís how it happened: After knocking off TX-Arlington, Rice lost to the Baylor Bears. They knocked off TX-Arlington once again and then beat Baylor twice to advance to Super Regional play.
--Baton Rouge- Winner: LSU; I picked: LSU; Hereís how it happened: After a tough battle with Minnesota, the Tigers squeaked one out against VA Commonwealth. But VCU battled back to face Tigers on Sunday, beat them once, but LSU was too strong and won the regional championship 14-9.
--New Orleans- Winner: Tulane; I picked: Tulane; Hereís how it happened: Tulane cruised past Southern, got by the Cowboys, and then won a tight 9-8 game with Oklahoma State again to capture the regional championship.
--South Bend- Winner: Florida International; I picked: Notre Dame; Hereís what went wrong: FIU and ND won their first round games and met in round two, where FIU won a one-run game. ND battled back to championship game, won the first one, but left the tying run on third in the final game, and FIU caputured the title and advanced.
--Los Angeles- Winner: Southern Cal; I picked: Southern Cal; Hereís what happened: The Trojans won an easy one over Oral Roberts, then battled Pepperdine and won a one-run game there. After fighting through the losersí bracket, Fresno State faced USC in the championship game, where the Trojans won the first game and advanced to Super Regional play.
--Wilson- Winner: East Carolina; I picked: Winthrop; Hereís what went wrong: Winthrop lost 7-2 to S. Florida in first round but battled back through losersí bracket, beating UMBC and S. Florida to face ECU in championship game. They were unable to win even the first game, and the Pirates claimed the regional title.

Re-Rating the Regional Sites
Before the regionals began, I rated all sixteen regional sites from the toughest to the easiest, in my opinion. Here were my ratings: Cal St-Fullerton, Georgia, Tulane, Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Florida State, Stanford, Rice, Clemson, East Carolina, LSU, Ohio State, and Nebraska. Now, after the regionals have been completed, I have re-thought those rankings, and hereís is how I would rank them now, once again from strongest to weakest (with previous ranking in parentheses): 1. Georgia (2), 2. Tennessee (4), 3. CS-Fullerton (1), 4. Stanford (10), 5. Miami (6), 6. Tulane (3), 7. South Carolina (5), 8. Southern Cal (8), 9. East Carolina (13), 10. Ohio State (15), 11. Rice (11), 12. Notre Dame (7), 13. LSU (14), 14. Florida State (9), 15. Nebraska (16), 16. Clemson (12).
The biggest leap forward in the rankings was the Stanford regional, moving six spots from ten to four. Right behind that were the regionals at Ohio State and East Carolina, which moved up five and four spots, respectively. The biggest fall in the rankings belonged to the Florida State and Notre Dame regionals, which each dropped five spots.

Super Regional Predictions
With the Super Regional match-ups and sites now determined, itís time for predictions on who wins where. Hereís the location of the regional followed by whoís participating, and why this team will win:
--Fullerton, CA - Mississippi State at CS-Fullerton - MSUís pitching has carried them all year, and I think the same will happen again here in the Super Regionals. I think the Dogs win this one 2-1, losing the Saturday game.
--Lincoln, NE - Rice at Nebraska - Rice was able to steal two games from Baylor last weekend, and thatís what theyíll do in Nebraska, winning this series 2-1, and also losing just the Saturday game.
--New Orleans, LA - LSU at Tulane - Although itís a Tulane home game, the Tulane fans are outnumbered, as is the Green Wave, as LSU moves on to the CWS, winning both the Saturday and Sunday ballgames. --Palo Alto, CA - South Carolina at Stanford - The pitching of the Gamecocks is able to win the Friday night game, but the Cardinal storm back to win on Saturday and Sunday, eliminating South Carolina from post-season play.
--Coral Gables, FL - Clemson at Miami - The Hurricanes have no trouble with the Tigers, beating them on both Friday and Saturday, making a game three unnecesary, as they advances to CWS play.
--Wilson, NC - Surprise team ECU is able to capture both the Friday night and Sunday afternoon games and eliminate this speedy Tennessee team from post-season action.
--Athens, GA - The Seminoles are able to capture Fridayís game while Georgia wins game two. The more-experienced FSU team is victorious on Sunday, and they are off to Omaha.
--Los Angeles, CA - Florida International is once again on the road, but cannot claim another surprise advancement in post-season play. They are able to win Saturday, but the Cardinal claim the 2-1 series win, advancing to Omaha.

If each of these winners are picked correctly, these would be the first round match-ups in Omaha:

Mississippi State vs Rice
LSU vs Stanford
Miami vs East Carolina
Florida State vs Southern Cal

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