In just ONE WEEK, the NCAA selection show will be airing on ESPNU at 1:00 ET. I will be giddy like a school girl when that day comes and play the "Happy Song" all morning in anticipation. Actually, 6 days now, but it was one week when I typed this. Whatever. Just set your calendar's next Monday, May 26th at 1:00 ET for the NCAA selection show if you consider yourself a college baseball fan. If you don't, perhaps you shouldn't be reading my column...
Oregon State remains at number one which no one should argue after they settled the regular season race in the Pac-12 with a series win over No. 13 Washington.
Baseball America also released mock draft 2.0 recently if you haven't checked it out. Interestingly, they have Carlos Rodon back in play for No. 1 overall whereas a recent Keith Law mock draft projected him at No. 4 to the Cubs.
Here are the other highlights from around the country.
Note: ACC Conference Tournament begins today...
Atlantic Division Regular Season Champion: No. 6 Florida State (41-14, 21-9 ACC) - The Noles capped off the regular season with a series win over Duke. Sophomore OF D.J. Stewart finished the season with a conference leading .362 average and 7 home runs and was named ACC Player Of The Year.
Coastal Division Regular Season Champion: No. 11 Miami (40-15, 24-6 ACC) - Here's a potential Omaha team considering the 'Canes are 27-3 over their last 30 games. They won the series with North Carolina to finish the season while Junior LHP Chris Diaz (9-0, 2.92 ERA, 7.85 K/9) and 1B Zach Collins (.285/.404/.520, 8 HR) were named ACC Pitcher and ACC Freshman of the year respectively.
Biggest Surprise: Maryland (34-19, 15-14 ACC) - Winners of nine straight, my Maryland Terrapins improbably finished in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division and look primed to end their embarrassing 43-year NCAA tournament drought.
Biggest Disappointment: NC State (32-22, 13-17 ACC) - No doubt about this one. The Wolfpack were supposed to be the team that finished in 2nd, not Maryland. Instead, they barely made the ACC tournament with a 5th place finish.
Going into the weekend Louisville and UCF were tied for the conference lead...
Regular Season Champion - No. 5 Louisville (43-13, 19-5 AAC) - The Cardinals pulled off a crucial sweep of Cincinnati to steal away the regular season crown from UCF, who had led all season but dropped to 2nd with a series loss to UConn over the weekend. How's that for weekend drama?
Hitter Of The Week: James Vasquez - 1B - UCF - Vasquez hit .533 and drove 5 runs and finished with a .340 average and 6 home runs on the season.
Pitching Juggernaut: No. 12 Houston (41-14, 14-9 AAC) - The Cougars end the regular season with a Team ERA of 2.04, good for best in the nation.
Note: The American conference tournament gets under way tomorrow.
(Big 12 Highlights)
Regular Season Champion: No. 7 Oklahoma State (41-14, 18-6 Big 12) - The Cowboys barely edged out No. 20 TCU (38-15, 17-7 Big 12) to take down the Big 12 regular season crown with a big in-state series win with Oklahoma.
From First To Worst: Kansas State (25-30, 5-19 Big 12) - They hosted an NCAA regional last year. Now, the Wildcats are riding the cellar. We call that parody.
(Big West Highlights)
Regular Season Champion: No. 4 Cal Poly (45-10, 19-5 Big West) - The Mustangs rolled down the stretch to pass UC Irvine (35-19, 15-6 Big West) in the standings and cap off their historically good season with a 1st place regular season title.
Player Spotlight: Jimmy Allen - 3B - He garnered National Hitter of the Week recognition for his three-homer weekend.
Biggest Disappointment: Cal State Fullerton (28-20, 11-10 Big West) - Perhaps, the biggest one in college baseball, considering the Titans were a pre-season No. 1 in some polls but are now squarely on the bubble for the NCAA at-large picture.
Stony Brook (33-16, 18-5 America East) got the best of Hartford (after potential top ten pick Sean Newcomb tossed a gem for Hartford in Game 1) for a series win finish that determined the regular season winner. The Seawolves could be a tourney sleeper (again) if they win their tournament.
St. Louis (32-19, 18-7 A-10) ultimately won a heated race for the regular season crown. Top prospect James Norwood finished 8-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 62 K's in 89 IP.
Another highly heated race took place in the A-Sun where Florida Gulf Coast (36-20, 19-8 A-Sun) edged out pre-season favorite Mercer (38-15, 18-9 A-Sun) and Kennesaw State (33-21, 17-9 A-Sun) for the regular season crown. All three of those teams have a chance at earning NCAA bids.
On Fire: No. 18 Indiana - The Hoosiers rolled through the Big Ten and are in a good position to nab a regional host bid with their strong No. 4 RPI rating. The Hoosiers carry one of my favorite threesomes of impact college bats in the country in 2B Dustin Demuth (.385/.459/.547, 5 HR), 1B Sam Travis (.357/.420/.582, 10 HR), and potential 1st rounder C Kyle Schwarber (.340/.450/.615, 10 HR).
Entering The Rankings: No. 30 Dallas Baptist (36-18, 14-7 MVC) - The Patriots have made noise in the NCAA's recently and look primed to get another appearance. They swept Southern Illinois over the weekend and make their debut in the Top 30 at the right time of the season.
The C-USA announced their conference award winners: Aramis Garcia - C - FIU and Chase Mallard - RHP - UAB.
No. 28 Liberty (39-14, 23-3 Big South) - The Flames dominated the Big South this year and should be a lock for the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in the Big South tourney. They could make some noise in the regionals, especially with top draft prospect RHP Ashton Perritt (11 saves, 1.73 ERA, 9.0 K/9) closing.
Nation's Strikeout Leader/Helium Alert: Kyle Freeland - LHP - Evansville - You may have noticed in the BA mock draft that Freeland is now being talked of as a potential No. 4 overall pick to the Cubs. He leads the country with 122 strikeouts and his pitching style and microscopic 0.85 BB/9 remind me of Cliff Lee. He's a big reason why Evansville (34-19, 15-6 MVC) sits atop the conference.
Jackson State has punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament with a win in the SWAC title game.
Western Carolina (37-20, 20-6 SoCon) finished in 1st in the Southern Conference. Top draft prospect RHP Jeremy Null (2.66 ERA, 94.2 IP, 88 K's) was named SoCon pitcher of the week.
Hot Streakin: No. 23 Sam Houston State (40-15, 22-8 Southland) won 12 consecutive conference games to edge out Nicholls State for the regular season title. Will this be the year the Bearkats make some noise in the NCAA's?
Most Wins In The Country: No. 2 Louisiana-Lafayette (49-7, 26-4 Sun Belt) - Plenty to rage about in Lafayette these days. The best team in school history looks primed for an Omaha run.
Must be a "West Coast thing" because the Pac-12 still has one weekend left of conference play and "doesn't do a conference tournament". #Weird
Best In The West: No. 1 Oregon State (41-9, 22-5 Pac-12) - We already covered the busy beavers in the intro but, yes they have now surpassed No. 13 Washington (38-13, 20-7 Pac-12) for the conference lead.
Nation's ERA Leader: LHP Ben Wetzler is sticking it to the Phillies with a 0.84 ERA, good for best in the nation. He also leads the nation with a .146 opponent batting average.
Note: SEC Conference tournament gets started today...
SEC East Regular Season Champion: No. 14 Florida (37-19, 21-9 SEC) - The Gators finished with the best conference record in the SEC, an impressive feat after their sluggish start to the season.
SEC West Regular Season Champion: No. 16 Ole Miss (40-16, 19-11 SEC) - The Rebels snuck by No. 8 LSU (40-14, 17-11 SEC) with a series win over Texas A&M to sit atop the West.
Entering The Rankings: No. 27 Arkansas (35-21, 16-14 SEC) - Never too late to hit the rankings which the Razorbacks did this week following a sweep of Missouri.
Nation's Home Run Leader: A.J. Reed - 1B - Kentucky - The potential late 1st rounder finished off his outstanding season with 23 bombs. He also hit .359/.492/.788 with 70 RBI in just 54 games. He'll run away with SEC player of the year and is my pick for the Golden Spikes Award too.
RHP Aaron Nola is still a projected top ten pick for LSU and finished the year 2nd in the country with 120 K's, a 1.42 ERA, and just 60 hits allowed in 101.2 innings.
(Photo By: Cal Poly Athletics)
Hitter Of The Week: Jimmy Allen - 3B - Cal Poly
Like I mentioned earlier, Allen had a big three homer weekend for the Mustangs. He had just two all year entering the series. He also set a Cal Poly career hit record with his 244th hit over the weekend. The Senior third baseman isn't a hot draft prospect but has a been a steady veteran cog on this dominant squad all season and will likely hear his named called late in the draft.
(Photo By: Ashley Landis)
Pitcher Of The Week: Dillon Peters - LHP - Texas
No-no alert! Dillon Peters, a junior, tossed 7 no-hit innings against Kansas State over the weekend. Relief pitcher Morgan Cooper came on to seal the no-hitter with two perfect innings to close out the game. Peters struck out eight hitters and walked three in his impressive outing. He finished the season with a 6-3 record, 2.27 ERA in 75.1 IP with 68 hits allowed and 50 K's and could come off the board as early as the 2nd-3rd rounds. In this draft video from MLB.com, he is compared to Rangers lefty Robbie Ross, Jr.
The latest rankings via College Baseball Writers
The latest RPI's from Boyd's World
D1 Stat Leaderboard via Boyd's World
That's it for this week and this regular season. Stay classy, not crassy, everyone.