No Hosting for Gator Baseball

The Gator baseball team will be on the road to start play in the NCAA Baseball Tournament later this week. Florida will find out where it's playing and against whom when the NCAA bids come out Monday at 12:30, but one thing is certain and that's the Gators won't be hosting.

Florida was a borderline No. 1 seed/host candidate entering the weekend with a No. 13 RPI and a 34-20 record, but two quick losses in Alabama cost the Gators any chance of getting to bring three teams to Gainesville. Instead it appears Florida will be one of the higher seeded non-hosts, along with Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, California and Texas. It's always a gamble to try to predict where Florida might end up, but I would say the best chances are at East Carolina, North Carolina State or Michigan.

Sixteen schools were chosen to host regional tournaments and as usual there were the no-brainers. Miami, Florida State, Georgia, Fullerton State, Arizona State, Rice, Nebraska and Coastal Carolina spent most of the year in or near the top ten. Borderline hosts, based on RPI entering this weekend were NC State (No. 10), LSU (No. 18), Texas A&M (No. 11) and Oklahoma State (No. 14). They were chosen over Georgia Tech (No. 6), Florida and Arizona (No. 15) among others.

Geographic balance factored into the remaining sites as non top 16 teams got host slots. Stanford (No. 19) and Long Beach State (No. 27) give much needed West Coast sites, while Michigan (No. 37) provides a venue in the upper Midwest.

If the Gators are indeed one of the highest seeded non-hosts, Kevin O'Sullivan's team could have a pretty good shot at advancing to the Super Regionals. We'll examine that after the bids come out.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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