Sunday, June 2, 2013

NCAA Baseball Tournament, Day Three

ESPN's newly expanded coverage of the NCAA Baseball Tournament has made this one of my new favorite events of the year.  Yesterday was simply spectacular, as you could have watched baseball from about noon Central Time until almost 3 A.M. Central Time -- the last game of the day, Cal-State Fullerton against Arizona State -- didn't get started until 11:45 P.M. Central Time because the first game in Fullerton (Columbia's 6-5 win over New Mexico) ran 13 innings.  A rain delay in Nashville pushed back the start time of ESPNU's scheduled broadcast of Vandy v. Illinois from 6 PM Central to 7:35 PM.  So the U had a big programming hole for about three-and-a-half hours between the finish of the Arkansas/Wichita game and the beginning of the Vandy game.  That time was filled brilliantly, as ESPN jumped all over the country from game to game taking us wherever the action was most exciting.  They pulled out all the stops, sometimes even going to a split screen that showed three games simultaneously, and at other times switching back and forth between two games on a pitch-by-pitch basis.

The result was one of the most entertaining afternoons I can remember, and the best thing I've seen on ESPN for years.  We saw Mercer make up a 5-1 deficit after 7 innings to send its game with Central Arkansas into extra innings -- only to blow it in the 11th with a terrible outfield throw that gave Central Arkansas its game-winning run.  We saw Louisville break open its game with Miami (Fla.) with a 6-run seventh inning that featured a suicide squeeze and two bases-loaded walks -- and then watched the Cardinals hold off a Hurricane comeback for a 6-4 win.  We saw San Francisco score in the top of the 10th to take a 3-2 lead over South Dakota State -- and then saw a San Francisco error give the Jackrabbits the run they needed in the bottom of the 10th to regain the lead.  We saw the battle of San Diego, as the San Diego Toreros (wearing camouflage-type uniforms) came from behind to eliminate the San Diego State Aztecs 6-3.  And that was only a small part of the action.  If this continues, the first weekend of the NCAA Baseball tournament will become must-see television for a lot of fans.

There were many close and thrilling contests yesterday.  But when it was all said and done, fourteen of the sixteen number-one seeds were in the driver's seat as the only remaining undefeated team in their region.  In games of particular interest to us, Indiana hammered Austin Peay 15-6 to take control of the Bloomington Region.  NCSU used a complete game two-hit shutout to beat William & Mary 1-0 and take control of the Raleigh Region.  And Vanderbilt came from behind to beat Illinois 10-4 and remain undefeated in the Nashville Region.

Today we will again have 32 games (assuming no rainouts).  In each region, the first game will feature the two 1-1 teams.  The losers of those games will be eliminated, and the winner will move on to play the 2-0 team in the region.  If the undefeated team wins that game, it will win the region and advance to one of the eight Super-Regionals to be played next weekend.  If not, the two teams will meet in a winner-take-all game on Monday.

Here are the current standings (the number next to each team is its seed; teams with two losses have been eliminated):

Chapel Hill Region (winner will play the winner of the Columbia Region):
1.  N. Carolina:  2-0
2.  Fla. Atlantic:  1-1
3.  Towson:  1-1
4.  Canisius:  0-2

Columbia Region:
1.  S. Carolina:  2-0
2.  Clemson:  1-1
3.  Liberty:  1-1
4.  Saint Louis:  0-2

Raleigh Region (winner will play the winner of the Eugene Region):
1.  N. Carolina St:  2-0
2.  Mississippi:  1-1
3.  William & Mary:  1-1
4.  Binghamton:  0-2

Eugene Region:
2.  Rice:  2-0
1.  Oregon:  1-1
3.  San Francisco:  1-1
4.  South Dakota St:  0-2

Fullerton Region (winner will play the winner of the Los Angeles Region):
1.  Cal-State Fullerton:  2-0
2.  Arizona St:  1-1
4.  Columbia:  1-1
3.  New Mexico:  0-2

Los Angeles Region:
1.  UCLA:  2-0
2.  Cal Poly:  1-1
3.  San Diego:  1-1
4.  San Diego St:  0-2

Blacksburg Region (winner will play the winner of the Baton Rouge Region):
2.  Oklahoma:  2-0
1.  Virginia Tech:  1-1
4.  Connecticut:  1-1
3.  Coastal Carolina:  0-2

Baton Rouge Region:
1.  Louisiana St:  2-0
2.  La-Lafayette:  1-1
3.  Sam Houston St:  1-1
4.  Jackson St:  0-2

Nashville Region (winner will play the winner of the Louisville Region):
1.  Vanderbilt:  2-0
2.  Georgia Tech:  1-1
3.  Illinois:  1-1
4.  E. Tennessee St:  0-2

Louisville Region:
1.  Louisville:  2-0
2.  Miami (Fla.):  1-1
3.  Oklahoma St:  1-1
4.  Bowling Green:  0-2

Bloomington Region (winner will play the winner of the Tallahassee Region):
1.  Indiana:  2-0
2.  Austin Peay:  1-1
4.  Valparaiso:  1-1
3.  Florida:  0-2

Tallahassee Region:
1.  Florida St:  2-0
2.  Alabama:  1-1
3.  Troy:  1-1
4.  Savannah St:  0-2

Charlottesville Region (winner will play the winner of the Starkville Region):
1.  Virginia:  2-0
2.  UNC-Wilmington:  1-1
3.  Elon:  1-1
4.  Army:  0-2

Manhattan (Kan.) Region (winner will play the winner of the Corvallis Region):
1.  Kansas St:  2-0
2.  Arkansas:  1-1
3.  Bryant:  1-1
4.  Wichita St:  0-2

Corvallis Region:
1.  Oregon St:  2-0
2.  Texas A & M:  1-1
3.  Cal-Santa Barbara:  1-1
4.  Tex-San Antonio:  0-2

1 comment:

  1. Hurrah! This sounds outstanding. Glad you're having so much fun with it, Go Heath!