FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas baseball team is in exactly the same spot this week as it was last week. And up from the week before that. Yet, the naysayers out there keep saying Arkansas is not a top 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Well, turns out, Arkansas is in line to host in the NCAA Tournament as long as it keeps winning. Meaning, Arkansas is expected to be a top 8 seed in the tournament. So, if they win the Fayetteville Regional, the Diamond Hogs will host the Super Regional in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks probably need a 3-3 finish to feel OK about holding on to that spot. A 4-2 finish should all but ensure it. Worse than that and the headline changes. Arkansas will still be a top 16 seed, as long as an 0-6 finish isn’t in the cards, but top 8 is out the window.
Either way, the projected opponents to visit Baum Stadium in the proverbial Round of 64 takes a change this week. You can read why below.
Top 8 national seeds
- North Carolina
- Oregon State
- Ole Miss
Next 8 regional hosts
- Florida State
- Texas Tech
- North Carolina State
- Oklahoma State
- East Carolina
Breaking it down
One important thing to remember about the regional round, regardless of whether Arkansas is top 8 seed, is no more matching of teams geographically in the Supers. Now, as the top 16 teams are all seeded, 1 plays 16, 2 plays 15 and so on. Rather, whichever team wins the No. 1 seed regional will play the No. 16 seed regional winner and the like.
Anyway, the biggest difference in the regional projection this week compared to last is the change in the No. 2 seed. The last two projections at SEC Country had Oklahoma visiting Baum Stadium. The Sooners, however, have lost three of their last four Big 12 series. They are not a No. 2 seed.
So, who is? Texas and Oklahoma State might be. But at least one of those two teams will host. Both might host, actually. Pickings become slim after that, geographically. Baylor is a borderline No. 2 seed. Probably a 3, though, along with Dallas Baptist and Missouri State — two more teams the Hogs could see in Fayetteville.
The problem with the No. 2 seed in Baum is that all the projected No. 2 seeds are a good half-day’s drive away. Many of the No. 2 seeds are SEC teams, which means they can’t play in Fayetteville. Arkansas could see a Big Ten team, such as Ohio State or Indiana. Or the Hogs could welcome mid-major powerhouse Tennessee Tech.
The No. 3 seed, we’re sticking with Dallas Baptist. Would stand to reason, though, DBU could head to Austin if the Longhorns host or to Lubbock if it’s Texas Tech. Missouri State could go north to a Minnesota or something but could return to Fayetteville for a third straight postseason with the Diamond Hogs.
No reason to pull Oral Roberts out of the No. 4 seed.
This wouldn’t be a sexy regional, but fans might like it because it looks winnable. Incredibly winnable. Maybe too winnable.
- Tennessee Tech
- Dallas Baptist
- Oral Roberts