Weekend 1 of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament is over and–much to everyone’s shock and dismay–so is LSU’s season.
Sunday’s loss and Monday’s thrashing at the hands of the Houston Cougars were both heartbreaking losses. But this wasn’t the kind of heartbreak that catches you unaware by sneaking up on you and then jumping out from the bushes screaming “SURPRISE!!!”, no, this is the kind of heartbreak that slowly crushes your skull in as “The Mountain” seals your fate.
So, that’s the end of the 2014 season. It was one that showed promise. The 2014 LSU Roster that had some tremendous players including the SEC Pitcher of the Year and possible Golden Spikes award winner Aara Nola who will most likely be taking his talents to pro ball later in the week in the MLB First Year Player Draft. It is also one less year of eligibility for Alex Bregman–something sobering indeed for Tiger Baseball fans.
At any rate, Houston, the highest ranking RPI team not to receive their own host site (and also not to receive a top 8 seed), moves on to the Super Regionals. They will face in-state rival, Texas, and I can only imagine that the seeding committee took all of ten seconds to realize that they better award Texas the Super Regional home lest they reveal to the world that a top 8 seed’s #2 opponent was much better than an unranked host’s #2 seed. Or, at least, that’s how I’ll forever envision that decision going. Texas was able to win their way out of the Rice regional as the host, Rice, was no where to be found come Sunday or Monday. (Rice was eliminated on Saturday)
As for the ten teams sent forward to carry the SEC banner, only 2 remain alive. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, the second and sixth best teams from the SEC, were both able to win their regionals in less than harrowing fashion–though Ole Miss took an extra day because of rain outs. Ole Miss will head to Lafayette to battle UL-Louisiana and Vanderbilt will be at home versus Stanford, winner of the Bloomington (Indiana) Regional.
Below are the 16 remaining teams and their numbers heading into the tournament.