Heading into the Super Regionals, the SEC is standing above the other conferences that received four or more bids into the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The SEC put eight teams into the tournament, and six made it to Super Regionals.
Even more impressive is that all eight SEC teams reached the finals in their respective regionals. Three of those eight SEC teams fought their way out of the loser’s bracket. Only Auburn University and the University of Arkansas failed to reach a Super Regional.
Overall, the SEC went 25-8 in the regionals, which was the best record for a conference with four or more bids. The conference could put five teams in the College World Series only because SEC foes Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University will have to face each other on June 10 to June 12 in a best of three series.
The SEC is the only conference with multiple national seeds reach the Super Regionals—in this case, the University of Florida and LSU. Joining Florida, LSU and MSU in the Super Regionals are the University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University.
Things didn’t go as well for the Big 12 Conference, which had seven teams into the tournament.
The Big 12 saw one of its two national seeds, Texas Tech University, fall in the regionals and only put one team into the Super Regionals. Out of the seven teams that the Big 12 put in the tournament, just Texas Christian University, a national seed, reached the Super Regionals.
Four Big 12 teams reach the regional finals, but the conference as a whole went 10-12 in regionals. It was a rough weekend for the ACC, as well—the conference put seven teams in the tournament but only saw three teams advance.
The University of North Carolina, one of the ACC’s two national seeds, flamed out as the host of its Regional. Florida State University and Wake Forest University joined the national-seeded University of Louisville in the Super Regionals.
Oregon State University out of the Pac 12 might be the No. 1 national seed, but the conference as a whole struggled in the regionals. The Pac 12 put four teams into the tournament, including national seed Stanford University, but only Oregon State survived the regionals. Just two of the four teams reached the Regional finals, and the Pac 12 went 6-6 on the first weekend.
No major conference bombed bigger than the Big Ten. The conference put five teams into the tournament, but none even reached a regional final. Overall, the Big Ten went 3-10 in regional play.
The Big Ten flame-out in the NCAA Tournament might have been a big deal in the media if Ohio State University hadn’t fired head basketball coach Thad Matta. The surprise firing took the focus off the poor performance.
If fans want to root for teams from smaller conferences, there are plenty of choices still left in the tournament. Davidson College out of the Atlantic 10 reached the tournament for the first time and is in a Super Regional against Texas A&M. Davidson ousted North Carolina and posted a perfect 3-0 record in the regional.
Two teams out of the Big West Conference—California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach—reached a Super Regional. They combined for a 7-1 mark in the regionals.
Sam Houston State University out of the Southland Conference shocked Texas Tech to win the regional. Missouri State University from the Missouri Valley Conference outlasted Arkansas to advance to the Super Regionals.
Davidson, Sam Houston State, Missouri State, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State will try to follow in the footsteps of Coastal Carolina University. Last season, the Chanticleers won the tournament to give hope to small conferences everywhere.