The NCAA Tournament is finally here! The Selection Committee has revealed the seedings and pools for each Regional hosting location ahead of postseason action starting this Friday.
The hosts are as follows:
*Super Regional Host with an Advancement
I took a look at a few key sites to pay attention to this weekend and what I think you should expect to see as the Regionals get underway.
And remember, for up to the minute regional odds - visit our partners at Betfred Sportsbook.
Most Interesting Regional: Stillwater Regional
To start, this is what I believe to be the most wide-open and interesting Regional this weekend. Oklahoma State will host Dallas Baptist, Washington, and Oral Roberts in the Stillwater Regional. It will include three 40-win teams and a Washington team that just three weekends ago swept the eventual PAC 12 Tournament champion, Oregon Ducks. I believe every team heading to Stillwater has the ability to win it, and if last year’s Stillwater Regional is anything to go off of, it should be must-see TV.
Regional host with sneaky draw: Arkansas
Shifting gears, I want to highlight a big spot for an upset watch, the Fayetteville Regional. Arkansas has been one of the most steady teams in the country, starting the year at No. 8 and hanging around the top-5 for most of the season.
However, their biggest defeat of the season was an 18-6 beatdown at the hands of the TCU Horned Frogs in Arlington, who will be heading to Fayetteville this weekend.
Joining them are the Arizona Wildcats and Santa Clara Broncos. I’d also keep an eye on Arizona and Chase Davis, one of the last four teams to reach the tournament, coming off of an impressive run in the PAC 12 Tournament, including a run-rule victory over No. 8 Stanford.
Other unseeded teams that could advance:
I think we could see a good number of unseeded teams force upsets over host seeds this weekend. Teams like West Virginia, Campbell, Texas A&M, East Carolina, and even somebody like Sam Houston State could make a lot of waves.
I point out Sam Houston State in the Baton Rouge regional in particular because although LSU had been the #1 team in the country for a majority of the season, their biggest downfall has been their pitching, and the Bearkats can hit. If you like fireworks, this is going to be the Regional for you. In the WAC Tournament this past weekend, the Bearkats scored 89 runs in only six games. That is an absurd 14.8 runs per game. And yes, while it was only the WAC, these dudes can rake and you shouldn’t count them out in the slightest.
Of the unseeded teams, Texas A&M may be the team that ends up making the most noise. They’ll head to the west coast for the Stanford Regional off the back of their very impressive run to the SEC Tournament Championship game. The Aggies found their pitching in Hoover and if they continue to play like they have been, they will be a very tough team to beat. And not to get too far ahead of myself, but, if they manage to get to the Super Regionals it sets up a potential matchup with their bitter rival Texas for the right to play in Omaha.
Will top overall seed Wake Forest make it to Omaha?
Finally, let’s talk a little bit about the top-seeded Winston-Salem Regional. The Demon Deacons have been a powerhouse this season, sitting within the top-5 for almost the entire way. They’ll welcome Maryland, Northeastern, and George Mason to town for the weekend. The Terrapins may be a team to look out for, coming off of a dominating Big 10 Tournament Championship run where their pitching stole the show, allowing five runs in four games.
I’ll have my full Regionals preview out later this week with analysis for every host site so stay tuned in for that. This is what we’ve been waiting for since the season started in February, postseason baseball is upon us; the Road to Omaha starts now.
Follow Grayson Buchholz on Twitter - @GBuchholzNWA
Also, for up to the minute odds and for all things college baseball - visit our partners and the Betfred Sportsbook.
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