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The 2017 NCAA Baseball Regional Primer #RoadToOmaha

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The Road to Omaha begins here. Five B1G teams were selected to continue on into the postseason. See where each team is at what they need to do to advance.

The Road to Omaha begins...
The Road to Omaha begins...
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

A mere four months ago we started the college baseball season and now we are finally getting to the fun part. On Monday 64 teams were selected for the NCAA tournament and amazingly five B1G teams were picked tying the B1G record set two years ago. Here we will showcase each regional to give a sense of what lies ahead for the B1G teams continuing on and what to watch for in each regional. Full bracket here.  All times EST

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National Seeds

1. Oregon State
2. North Carolina
3. Florida
4. LSU
5. Texas Tech
6. TCU
7. Louisville
8. Stanford

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Corvallis regional - Goss Stadium at Coleman Field

Host: Oregon St. (#1 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Yale (32-16) vs. No. 2 Nebraska (35-20) 4 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 Holy Cross (23-27) vs. No. 1 Oregon State (49-4) 11 p.m. ESPNU

*******

Clemson regional - Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Host: Clemson

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 St. John's (42-11) vs. No. 2 Vanderbilt (33-22) noon SEC Network

Game 2: No. 4 UNC Greensboro (35-22) vs. No. 1 Clemson (39-19) 7 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Oregon St - If you can finish the season with less than 10 losses that's pretty damn good. Less than 5? That's insane. The Beavers 49-4 record is the best in college baseball making them an easy pick for the top overall seed. Oregon St. mainly gets it done with their pitching since they have an overall team ERA of 1.84 and have held opponents to a .198 batting average. They are led by junior left-hander Luke Heimlich (10-1, 0.81 ERA) [editor's note: daaaayyyyymm]. Sometimes being the #1 overall seed can be too much for some teams (like UCLA in 2015, right Terps?), but if you were going to bet on a team making it to Omaha this team would be it.

Who could make the CWS?

Clemson - After dropping a home regional last year the selection committee gave the Tigers another opportunity to host even though in many circles it was viewed as controversial. Clemson still has Seth Beer on the roster who was ACC player of the year last year as a Freshman and still has a great plate presence.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

To see if Nebraska can do the unthinkable and topple the #1 overall seed. It will be a tall order considering the buzzsaw that is that Beaver pitching staff plus the fact that Oregon St. has only lost once at home all year. The good news is that even though their pitchers are amazing Oregon St.'s offense really isn't so if the Husker pitchers can keep pace then Nebraska has a shot. What also helps is that both teams played each other in the Pac12/B1G challenge so the two teams are familiar with each other.

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Chapel Hill regional - Boshamer Stadium

Host: North Carolina (#2 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Michigan (42-15) vs. No. 2 Florida Gulf Coast (42-18) 1 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 Davidson (32-24) vs. No. 1 North Carolina (47-12) 6 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Houston regional - Schroeder Park

Host: Houston

Friday June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Texas A&M (36-21) vs. No. 2 Baylor (34-21) 3 p.m. ESPN2

Game 2: No. 4 Iowa (38-20) vs. No. 1 Houston (40-19) 8 p.m. ESPNU

Who should make the CWS?

North Carolina - This is the 8th time North Carolina has hosted a regional since 2006 so this is becoming almost routine for the Tar Heels. UNC has been consistently at the top of the rankings and RPI all year and they do it with a solid lineup and great pitching as usual.

Who could make the CWS?

Whoever wins the bloodbath that is the Houston regional. The Cougars are at home and are coming off a Conference USA tournament title victory but were given a tough regional to host. Texas A&M is a veteran SEC squad and Baylor held its own in the Big XII this year. Adding to that is a tough 4 seed in Iowa who can match the offensive firepower of the other three teams. Expect the team that comes out of this regional to be battle tested and ready for anything.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

See if B1G player of the year Jake Adams and Co. can be the fly in the Lone Star party's ointment. The Hawkeyes can hit the long ball with the best of them and they'll need that kind of offensive firepower in a regional group that will surely be full of fireworks and runs. Michigan will also be much like the Huskers in trying to topple a high national seed but the Wolverines have the talent to give the Tar Heels a run for their money if UNC doesn't take Michigan seriously.
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Gainesville regional - Alfred A. McKethan Stadium

Host: Florida (#3 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Bethune-Cookman (33-23) vs. No. 2 South Florida (41-17) 1 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 Marist (32-21) vs. No. 1 Florida (42-16) 7 p.m. SEC Network

*******

Winston-Salem regional - David F. Couch Ballpark

Host: Wake Forest

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Maryland (37-21) vs. No. 2 West Virginia (34-24) 2 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 UMBC (23-23) vs. No. 1 Wake Forest (39-18) 7 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Florida - Florida just keeps churning out great teams year after year and this time around is no different. Although not quite as talented as past squads this roster has the experience of being at the CWS the past two years and look to make it a third.

Who could make the CWS?

The Winston-Salem regional is full of potential where Wake Forest has the slight edge since they are at home. The Demon Deacons also have Stuart Fairchild who is great at the plate and an excellent defensive asset.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Maryland went on a bit of a slide at the end of the regular season and may have saved themselves from the chopping block with the run to the semis in the B1G tournament. That said the Terps have a pretty good regional set up in the heart of North Carolina. Maryland has the arms for a weekend tournament in Shaffer, Bloom, and Blohm. Plus, the Terps also have played half the teams in this pod already earlier in the season winning against West Virginia in April and UMBC in May.

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Baton Rouge regional - Alex Box Stadium

Host: LSU (#4 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 4 Texas Southern (20-32) vs. No. 1 LSU (43-17) 3:30 p.m. SEC Network

Game 2: No. 3 Rice (31-29) vs. No. 2 Southern Louisiana (36-20) 8 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Hattiesburg regional - M.M. Roberts Stadium

Host: Southern Mississippi

Friday June 2

Game 2: No. 4 Illinois-Chicago (39-15) vs. No. 1 Southern Miss (48-14) 2 p.m. ESPN3

Game 1: No. 3 South Alabama (39-19) vs. No. 2 Mississippi State (36-24) 7 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

LSU - The SEC tournament winners have been up at the top of the rankings all year long and have a well rounded team that is playing its best ball right now. The Tigers also have pitchers Alex Lange and Jared Poche on the team from last year that got to the Supers even though they eventually dropped a home series to eventual national champion Coastal Carolina. This team now has a little more experience and can score in bunches and will have the friendly confines of Alex Box Stadium cheer them on.

Who could make the CWS?

Southern Miss - The Eagles have a great offensive lineup lead by Dylan Burdeaux but should be weary considering a formidable familiar foe in Mississippi State is coming to town and the Bulldogs will be looking to get out of Hattiesburg with a regional win.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

As always try to catch a game when LSU is playing since the atmosphere at Alex Box Stadium is unlike any other. Also check out that potential Magnolia state showdown on Saturday night considering both programs are familiar with each other and tensions should be high.

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Lubbock regional - Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park

Host: Texas Tech (#5 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 4 Delaware (34-21) vs. No. 1 Texas Tech (43-15) 3 p.m ESPN3

Game 2: No. 3 Sam Houston State (40-20) vs. No. 2 Arizona (37-19) 7 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Tallahassee regional - Dick Howser Stadium

Host: Florida St.

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Auburn (35-24) vs. No. 2 UCF (40-20) noon ESPN2

Game 2: No. 4 Tennessee Tech (40-19) vs. No. 1 Florida State (39-20) 6 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Texas Tech - Good defense and great pitching is what got the Red Raiders a national seed this year with Steve Gingery and Davis Martin leading the way on the mound. In case anything falls apart with their main guys Texas Tech has a stellar bullpen as well.

Who could make the CWS?

FSU is back in a familiar position in hosting and are probably thanking their lucky stars that they aren't paired in Florida's side of the bracket this time considering the Gators have knocked them out the past two years. Arizona also has the potential to move on since they are unassuming but are more experienced from their run to the CWS title game last year.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

If games play out as predicted you can see some great conference battles with the Big XII vs. Pac 12 (Texas Tech - Arizona) and ACC vs. SEC (FSU - Auburn).

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Fort Worth regional - Lupton Stadium

Host: TCU (#6 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Dallas Baptist (40-19) vs. No. 2 Virginia (42-14) 4 p.m. ESPNU

Game 2: No. 4 Central Connecticut State (36-20) vs. No. 1 TCU (42-16) 9 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Fayetteville regional - Baum Stadium

Host: Arkansas

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Oklahoma State (30-25) vs. No. 2 Missouri State (40-17) 3 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 Oral Roberts (42-14) vs. No. 1 Arkansas (42-17) 8 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

TCU - The Horned Frogs should consider buying a summer home in Omaha, or at the very least renting, considering TCU has been there for the CWS the past three years. As always TCU builds great teams off of defense and great pitching.

Who could make the CWS?

Arkansas always has the bats ready to go and with being at home expect the Razorbacks to be ready to put up some numbers. Missouri State also has been great in the Missouri Valley this year and should be able to challenge Arkansas for the ability to move on.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Pretty good 1 vs. 2 seed matchups in these regionals. In Fort Worth you have a great potential pitching duel breaking out and in Fayetteville some potential for fireworks considering the last time Arkansas faced off with Missouri St. a couple years ago.
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Louisville regional - Jim Patterson Stadium

Host: Louisville (#7 overall seed)

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 Xavier (32-25) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (34-22) 2 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 4 Radford (27-30) vs. No. 1 Louisville (47-10) 6 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Lexington regional - Cliff Hagan Stadium

Host: Kentucky

Friday June 2

Game 1: No. 4 Ohio (31-26) vs. No. 1 Kentucky (39-20) noon ESPNU

Game 2: No. 3 NC State (34-23) vs. No. 2 Indiana (33-22) 7 p.m. ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Louisville - The third time has got to be a charm for the Cardinals considering Louisville was bounced out of the Supers the past two years while hosting Big West teams (Cal St. Fullerton '15; UC Santa Barbara '16). This time around the Cards can use the arm and bat of two way player Brendan McKay. Backing McKay up is the rest of the pitching staff who have a team ERA of 2.82.

Who could make the CWS?

Kentucky - The Wildcats are the only SEC program without a CWS appearance so first year head coach Nick Mingione will try to end that drought this year. To help Kentucky accomplish this they'll use the services of SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Indiana is in a manageable regional and have been a pretty scrappy bunch all year. The other advantage for the Hoosiers is that they have already faced off with Kentucky losing a tight battle back in April.

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Stanford regional - Klein Field at Sunken Diamond

Host: Stanford (#8 overall seed)

Thursday, June 1

Game 1: No. 4 Sacramento State (32-27) vs. No. 1 Stanford (40-14) 4 p.m. ESPN3

Game 2: No. 3 BYU (37-19) vs. No. 2 Cal State Fullerton (34-21) 9 p.m. ESPN3

*******

Long Beach regional - Blair Field

Host: Long Beach St.

Friday, June 2

Game 1: No. 3 UCLA (30-25) vs. No. 2 Texas (37-22) 7 p.m. ESPN2

Game 2: No. 4 San Diego State (41-19) vs. No. 1 Long Beach State (37-17) 11 p.m. ESPN2

Who should make the CWS?

Stanford - This is the final season for retiring coach Mark Marquess so the Cardinal want to send him out with at least one more trip to Omaha. Marquess has coached Stanford for 41 seasons, winning 1,625 games, and two national championships in his 14 trips to the CWS.

Who could make the CWS?

Whoever wins the 'War on the Shore' Long Beach regional. Much like the Houston regional this one is chalk full of powerful programs trying to advance which should be both hard fought and entertaining.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Late night baseball is the best and considering these regionals are on the Left Coast you'll have some entertainment to carry you off into the night.


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