Selection Monday unveiled few nationwide surprises and provided Texas A&M with a fair regional draw and a potential Super Regional match-up with in-state rival Rice. All host teams, including A&M, were given a number one seed—the first time that has happened since the field expanded to 64 teams.
The Aggies drew what many consider to be the toughest two seed in Louisiana-Lafayette, Big Ten champion Ohio State as the three seed, and MAAC champion LeMoyne as the fourth seed. The Ragin' Cajuns meet up with the Buckeyes at 1 PM on Friday, and A&M will play LeMoyne in the nightcap at 7 PM that night.
Aggie fans will find themselves largely unfamiliar with the local field, other than a fleeting reputation of the Ragin' Cajuns that's certainly been overcome by their performance. Those teams bring interesting resumes and match-ups into this weekend's play.
About the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
(At-Large, Sun Belt Regular Season Champions, 43-15 overall, 26-8 in conference, #13 RPI, 17-7 OOC, #41 SOS)
Most college baseball insiders felt that the Cajuns were somewhat jobbed by not receiving their own regional, and their curse becomes A&M's trouble. ULL is undoubtedly the toughest two seed in the tournament, and (on paper) they will meet the Aggies in a potentially epic regional showdown on Saturday.
The Cajuns won the Sun Belt regular season title, but fell in the tournament championship game to New Orleans. Their 17-7 non-conference record is exceptional, especially given their #41 strength of schedule.
That positive result is somewhat tempered by their results against teams in the key RPI tiers. ULL went just 1-5 against Top 25 RPI teams, with their lone victory coming against Southern Mississippi. They dropped two games to the Golden Eagles, as well as three to Arizona State. Those six games are the only ones played against Top 50 competition. ULL improves greatly to a 14-1 mark against teams ranked between 50 and 75 in the RPI, and hold an overall 20-10 against Top 100 teams.
The win against Southern Miss stands as the only road or neutral site win against a Top 50 opponent. Against Top 100 teams, ULL is just 13-10 away from Lafayette.
ULL has not played any of the other teams in the College Station regional, nor any Big 12 squads. They share three common opponents with the Aggies - UTSA, Arizona State, and McNeese State, holding a 5-3 record against those teams. A&M was 3-1 against the same group.
The Cajuns will be a force in the regional, featuring great power bats in the middle of the line-up and above average front-line pitching.
About The Ohio State University
(Automatic Bid – Big 10 Conference Tournament Champions, 37-22 overall, 20-15 in conference, #70 RPI, 17-7OOC, #112 SOS)
The Buckeyes return to NCAA postseason play after winning the Big 10 conference tournament, putting together an admirable run through higher seeded teams to take down the conference title. It's unlikely that the Buckeyes would have made the field of 64 without that automatic bid, but they're peaking at the absolute right time and will be a formidable foe for the Ragin Cajuns on Friday.
Ohio State finished sixth in the Big Ten regular season standings at 15-15, but went a perfect 5-0 at the Metrodome, running roughshod through Penn State and regional qualifiers Michigan and Minnesota to bring the title home.
The highest ranked RPI team that the Buckeyes faced all season is also one of their two common opponents with A&M; the Kansas State Wildcats. OSU dropped both of those contests to the Wildcats, 5-4 and 5-2. A&M went 3-1 against the Wildcats on the season. They also enjoy a win over Jacksonville State, who A&M swept back in February.
The Buckeyes did not play a Top 25 RPI opponent, but did play 15 games against those ranked 26-50, going 5-10 in those contests. All eight of their wins against RPI top 100 clubs came away from home, compared to just seven losses outside of Columbus. They finished 8-13 overall against Top 100 competition and fattened their record against teams ranked lower than 150 (23-3).
OSU finished 5-8 against teams in the 2007 regional field.
About Le Moyne University
(Automatic Bid – Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament/Regular Season Champions, 34-17 overall, 25-3 in conference, #104 RPI, 8-14 OOC, #202 SOS)
The Le Moyne Dolphins round out the College Station regional field, entering as the automatic bid from the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference. Le Moyne went undefeated as the top seed in that tournament to secure their spot in the field. The Dolphins were also MAAC regular season champions, edging Manhattan by a single game.
Their record is a bit fat from league play, as they won just nine contests outside of the MAAC. Three of those games were against McNeese State, their only common opponent with A&M. The Dolphins went 1-2 against the Cowboys, compared to the Aggies' 2-0 mark.
LMU played just eight games against Top 100 RPI teams, amassing a 1-7 mark. They've played no Top 25 clubs, and are 0-5 against the Top 75. The lone top 100 wins is against #95 Southeastern Louisiana.
The Dolphins are 1-4 against teams in the 2007 field of 64.
College Station Regional - First Glance
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