Baseball Bears in the NCAA Tournament as #3 seed


California was selected today as an at-large team into the NCAA Baseball Tournament field. They received a #3 seed, primarily because of their struggles late in the year. If they had finished the year on a higher note, they would likely have received a #2. They will be sent to Texas for their regional.

The Bears are in the regional with #1 seeded Rice (41-19) and #4 Alcorn State (27-28). The opening game for Cal will be against #2 Baylor (29-26). Rice is by far the strongest team in the regional, but Cal has already notched a victory over them. Baylor, in my opinion, was a bit overseeded. Cal and they should probably switch seeds, but at this point it’s a moot point. Whatever the seeding, they’re still playing in the opener.

Cal got a nearly perfect draw. Rice is a very dangerous team, but the Bears have already beaten them and they’re not the strongest of #1 seeds. Baylor has some strong pitching, but they were below .500 in conference play and barely above .500 for the season. Not to dismiss them, but they’re a much more favorable match-up as a #2 than a team like Miami (Fl), Oklahoma, or UConn. Alcorn State is a team below .500 on the year in a weak conference; they shouldn’t pose much of a threat for any of the top 3 seeds.

This is great news for the Bears. While a #2 seed would have sounded better, the match-ups work out well for the team, with a #1 that isn’t incredibly imposing and a #2 that is more like a #3 seed. However, matchups are irrelevant unless the team stops the slide that characterized the end of their season. If they can stop the slump, then this team could be a sneaky team to watch in the tournament. Games will begin on the third of June. Go Bears!