Arkansas Athletics/Courtesy
Expect Baum Stadium crowds such as this on the weekend.

Familiar faces likely for Arkansas baseball in NCAA Tournament

Eric Bolin

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Ooooh-wee! Can hardly contain our excitement around here. Monday is the big day.

Arkansas, and everyone else in college baseball, will learn its postseason fate about lunchtime. The NCAA Tournament field of 64 will be announced at 11 a.m. CT. Arkansas will, of course, host the Fayetteville Regional. We learned that Sunday night when the NCAA announced the 16 host sites. There were no surprises, but we aren’t sure which other three teams will take part at Baum Stadium this weekend.

We do, however, have an idea. Some combination of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts and Missouri State are all but guaranteed to be two of three other teams. In fact, it could be three of those four in Fayetteville. That’s the way we picked it Sunday night, anyway: Arkansas, Missouri State, Oklahoma and Oral Roberts.

Some are tired of Missouri State. The Hogs and Bears have developed quite the rivalry the last three years thanks in large part to their wild games in the NCAA Tournament. Three years ago Arkansas beat Missouri State in super regionals to clinch a spot in the College World Series. Last year, Missouri State won the Fayetteville Regional, beating the Razorbacks in a game that ran into the 2 a.m. hour. Still, there is a desire, in certain parts, for some fresh blood.

To be honest, I wouldn’t wish up that too hard. Arkansas is definitely a better team than Missouri State. Arkansas is a better team than any who would come through as a 2 seed (and the 3s and 4s, as well), but being familiar with Missouri State is a clear edge for the Diamond Hogs. With any other team, say a Purdue or a Dallas Baptist, there isn’t as much knowledge.

Regardless, Baum Stadium will be rocking. You know it will be. Arkansas fans go all out for college baseball, especially during the NCAA Tournament.

For now, we wait. We watch.

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