FSU draws No. 7 national baseball seed; Florida, Miami hit road
Despite its struggles in the ACC tournament, where it went winless in three games, Florida State on Monday was rewarded for its regular season with a top eight national seed for the NCAA baseball tournament. The Seminoles (44-15), who received the No. 7 national seed from the selection committee even though they have lost their past four games, earned their 36th straight NCAA appearance and play Savannah State in Friday’s first round in Tallahassee. The other teams in the regional are Alabama and Troy. “There is no way that I can say that I was confident that we would be a top eight seed,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “I’m appreciative of the body of work that was put forth as the committee perused over many, many different facts and figures. There is no question in my mind that the major emphasis should be on what you accomplish through the first 56 games.” Florida, despite losing nine of its past 13 games, is headed to the postseason for the sixth straight season as the No.?3 seed in the Bloomington, Ind., Regional.The Gators (29-28), who open against Austin Peay on Friday, will be seeking their fourth straight trip to the College World Series. Host Indiana faces Valparaiso in the other regional opener. “This is an important year for us to get in,’’ Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “This wasn’t the prettiest season but I’m as proud of this team as any I’ve had here.’’ The Bloomington regional is paired with the Tallahassee regional, meaning Florida and Florida State would meet in the June 7-10 super regionals if both advance. Miami earned its 41st consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, extending its record, by receiving the No. 2 seed at the Louisville regional. UM (36-23) opens against Oklahoma State on Friday. Louisville takes on Bowling Green in the other regional opener. North Carolina (52-8) was named the No. 1 seed as the selection committee rewarded the Tar Heels for a strong season that included an exhausting run to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship. The other national seeds, in order: Vanderbilt, Oregon State, LSU, Cal State Fullerton, Virginia, FSU and Oregon. The 1999 Miami Hurricanes are the only top-seeded team to go on to win the national title, and that was in the first year of the current tournament format. The Southeastern Conference led all leagues with nine bids. The ACC had eight, and the Pac-12 and Sun Belt had four apiece. Arizona (34-21) won’t get a chance to defend its national title. The Wildcats were left out of the tournament despite winning five of their last six. First-time participants will be Bryant, Canisius, Central Arkansas, Savannah State and South Dakota State. Bowling Green (24-29) is the only team in the field with a losing record. The Falcons earned their spot by winning the Mid-America Conference tournament.