2/22 Baseball Bracketology Breakdown

Last Eight In: South Alabama, Texas Tech, UCF, Texas State, Iowa, UC Irvine, Tulane, Arizona State
First Eight Out: South Carolina, USC, Winthrop, Arizona, North Carolina State, Missouri, Auburn, Oklahoma
The opening weekend of the 2016 season is in the books. The weekend featured a number of matchups between teams with NCAA Regional aspirations in 2016. Highlighting those games were series between Cal State Fullerton and Stanford, Alabama and Maryland, Arizona and Rice, California and Duke as well as a Coastal Carolina tournament that featured the host Chanticleers, reigning national champion Virginia and North Carolina State.
Stanford took two of three from Cal State Fullerton without ace Cal Quantrill, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Alabama took two of three from Maryland, including a game one victory over Maryland’s All-American ace Mike Shawaryn. All four teams look to be solid ball clubs in 2016 and look to have great chances to be regional teams. Arizona got off to a great start to the year with a series win over Rice. Under first year coach Jay Johnson, the Wildcats could return to a regional for the first time since winning a national title in 2012 if they can keep performing like they did on opening weekend. Rice should be a favorite in Conference USA once again and should find themselves regional bound for a 22nd consecutive season.
Coastal Carolina, Virginia and NC State each went 2-1 in their opening weekend. After losing to NC State on Saturday, Coastal rebounded with a big 5-4 victory over Virginia. Both teams have great teams this year and should be in the mix to host a regional at years end. NC State has a little bit of work to do, but should be in the regional mix as well. The Wolfpack were shutout by Old Dominion on opening day, but rebounded with two wins to close the weekend out. In their first to games, starting pitchers Johnny Piedmonte and Brian Brown both failed to get out of the third inning. NC State came back to win in Brown’s outing, but improving on those outing will be key if the Wolfpack want to return to a regional this season.
Duke was one of the surprise teams of the opening weekend. The Blue Devils took two of three from projected regional host California, rebounding from an opening day loss to take the series. If their play on opening weekend was any indication, the Blue Devils could be headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1961. Watch out for Florida Atlantic as well. The Owls beat Mississippi State twice en route to a 4-0 weekend and look to be in the mix with Rice for the top spot in Conference USA.
ACC: Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia
American: Houston, Tulane, UCF
Big East: Creighton
Big 12: Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech
Big Ten: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan
Pac-12: Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington
SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
A-10: Richmond
America East: Stony Brook
A-Sun: North Florida
Big South: Coastal Carolina
Big West: Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine
CAA: Charleston, UNC Wilmington
C-USA: Florida Atlantic, Rice
Horizon: Wright State
Ivy: Columbia
MAAC: Rider
MAC: Kent State
MEAC: Florida A&M
MVC: Dallas Baptist, Missouri State
MWC: San Diego State
NEC: Bryant
OVC: Southeast Missouri
Patriot: Holy Cross
Southern: Wofford
Southland: Southeastern Louisiana
Summit: Oral Roberts
Sun Belt: Louisiana, South Alabama, Texas State
SWAC: Alabama State
WAC: Seattle