You can be forgiven if you haven’t paid much attention to the NCAA baseball tournament, what with a certain team absent from the proceedings and all. If you have been following it, you saw an opening weekend rife with upsets, and that was bad news for the ACC. Florida State and Miami were among nine regional hosts to bow out in the opening round. The league’s teams went just 11-10 in regional play overall with only Maryland and Virginia advancing. The Terps will take on the Hoos in the super regional round, so only one league member will make the College World Series. It will be just the second time since 2007 that the ACC didn’t have at least two participants in the CWS. At least the league won’t be shut out of the event for the first time since 2005.
Future ACC member Louisville advanced as a #1 seed and has a 1-0 lead in its series over Kennesaw State, the #3 seed that won Florida State’s region behind Max Pentecost, the 11th pick in the draft from earlier in the week. U.C. Irvine, Pepperdine, and Stanford were other #3 seeds that won regionals. College of Charleston was the lone #4 seed to advance and did so at the expense of heavyweights Florida and North Carolina, programs that have combined to make 10 CWS appearances in the last nine years. You have to back to 2004 to find a CWS that didn’t feature the Gators or the Tar Heels.
You can watch Maryland at Virginia today at noon on ESPN2.
Unfortunately Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner didn’t get to extend their school records in the NCAA tournament. If the Padres’ first-round pick (13th) signs as expected, Turner has finished his N.C. State career as the program’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 113, 40 more than Tom Sergio in second place. Fellow first-round pick (#3 to the White Sox) Carlos Rodon will leave the Pack as the program’s all-time leader in strikeouts with 436, 30 more than Terry Harvey wrung up in one fewer season than Harvey had in Raleigh. Rodon and Turner join Ron Evans (1975, Red Sox), Dan Plesac (1983, Brewers), Greg Briley (1986, Mariners), Corey Lee (1996, Rangers), Joey Devine (2005, Braves), and Andrew Brackman (2007, Yankees) as the program’s all-time first rounders.
Personally, I think both should come back to the Pack with an eye on going 1-2 in the draft next season. (Rolls eyes, laughs, cries.)
As you no doubt know, draft-eligible junior Brett Austin joined his teammates on the draft board when he was picked up in the fourth round by the Chisox. Pack signee Gareth Morgan was tabbed by the Mariners in the second round and is believed to be about a 99% lean toward taking the money and beginning his pro career. Austin didn’t sign after being a supplemental first-round pick three years ago out of high school in Charlotte, a decision that probably cost him about 500K.