The list of the 64 teams making the NCAA tourney has been released. Nebraska is a #3 seed and will be playing in the Arizona State/Tempe regional. Is this some sort of omen? Is it the NCAA playing a joke and giving us the chance to get back at ASU for that CWS loss in 2005?
The Tempe Regional is as follows:
#1 - Arizona State 43-13 RPI: 5
#2 - UC Riverside 37-19 RPI: 48
#3 - Nebraska 30-25 RPI: 32
#4 - Monmouth 36-22 RPI: 119
Other Big 12 Schools:
- Texas - the Longhorns are a national seed, and I would consider them one of the favorites going into the tourney.
- Mizzou - Missouri gets their first regional in school history after an impressive season, finishing second in the Big 12 regular season
- Texas A&M - another regional site. Louisiana-Lafayette, Ohio State and Le Moyne - does this strike anyone else as a very easy regional?
- Oklahoma State. A #3 seed in the Arkansas regional. Oklahoma State didn't fair much higher than Nebraska - and they'll face Creighton and Arkansas in a regional as punishment for playing such a weak schedule.
- Baylor - got in as a #3 seed in the Houston/Rice regional. Their schedule did them some good, as they were below .500 in the Big 12.
It's clear the NCAA committee punished those teams who feasted upon lesser foes to build good records:
"The non-conference schedules of many SEC teams were not up to par and that hurt them in the selections," NCAA committee chairman Larry Templeton said. "Not only was Tennessee hurt by its non-conference schedule, they also lacked wins out of conference."
The SEC got only five teams into the tourney, which is rather shocking considering the history of the baseball tournament. The Big Ten appears to have won out - getting Ohio State, Michigan, and Minnesota. into the 64-team field, along with some other Northern teams.
Perhaps it's a sign from the NCAA that they wanted to reward the Northern schools for having to travel and play a condensed schedule at the same time some Southern conferences, like the SEC, was punished for being a little lazy and taking things for granted.