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In My Mind Baseball Is King in Carolina

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Of the top 41 teams according to warrennolan.com's RPI ratings, 6 call North Carolina home: the Holes (4th), the Pack (9th), the Pirates (30th), Deacs (34th), Mountaineers (40th), and Seahawks (41st). That's some pretty solid baseball from the mountains to the sea, and only the snubbed Deacs missed the NCAA tournament. California and Texas, the two states boasting the largest populations, have 5 teams in the RPI top 41, and Florida, 4th in population, has 4. As North Carolina is just the 10th most populated state (according to my shoddy Wikipedia research), it's especially dadgum impressive that we can argue that the Old North State is currently king in college baseball.

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North Carolina measures up in other area as well. Texas has 8 teams in the big dance, California boasts 6, followed by three states with 5: Florida, New York, and, you guessed it, North Carolina. Each of those states has at least double the population of The Wolfpack State, so, per capita, our tourney participation squashes them like a grape. According to Baseball America's top 500 prospects list, 17 are either N.C. high school seniors or draft eligible players from N.C. colleges. Only 4 states have more (the usual suspects of California, Texas, and Florida, + Georgia), and, again, all of those states are more populated than N.C.

Certain regions of America are renown breeding grounds for talent in particular sports: California and baseball, south Florida and football, the Dakotas and curling, and tobacco road and basketball. I think it's time the Wolfpack State got its due on the diamond as well.