Sun Devils Earn Berth To NCAA Regionals
May 21, 2001
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
Cal State-Fullerton brought home a College World Series title the lasttimeit was in this position.
The Titans were selected Monday as the top seed for the 64-teamDivision Icollege baseball tournament. Cal State-Fullerton (41-15) beat SouthernCalifornia 11-5 for the national championship as the tournament's No. 1 seedin1995.
'In selecting the No. 1 seeds, we had 18 teams on the board to choosefrom,' said Wally Groff, chairman of the Division I baseball committee. 'Wediscussed the merits of all the teams and put in secret ballots to choosethetop seeds.'
Groff said Cal State-Fullerton's 27-11 non-conference record was thebest inthe country in terms of winning percentage.
The Titans will play host to Temple, making its first tournamentappearancesince 1984, on Friday in the first round of the double-eliminationtournamentthat leads to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Texas Tech and ArizonaState also will play in the regional at Cal State-Fullerton, where theTitanswere 22-9 this season.
The other seeded teams are Miami (44-12), Southern California (39-17),Stanford (42-14), Tulane (50-10), Georgia (41-18), East Carolina (44-11) andNebraska (45-14).
Groff said the committee spent 12 hours Sunday at the NCAA'sheadquarters inIndianapolis determining the field.
'It seems like it gets tougher every year,' said Groff, the athleticdirector at Texas A&M. 'It was a challenge for us. We do our best to get thebest teams in the tournament, and we can all leave Indianapolis knowing wedid.'
In addition to Cal State-Fullerton, regional hosts include Clemson,EastCarolina, Florida State, Georgia, Louisiana State, Miami, Nebraska, NotreDame,Ohio State, Rice, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, TennesseeandTulane.
The Southeastern Conference had a tournament-record eightrepresentativeswith defending champion Louisiana State, Auburn, Florida, Georgia,Mississippi,Mississippi State, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Next with five teams was the Big 12, with Nebraska, looking to make itsfirst trip to the College World Series, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas andTexasTech.
'The committee has no limits on the number of teams we can take from aconference,' Groff said. 'We just want to get the best teams in there.'
Groff said the committee based its decisions on a number of factors,including teams' records, strength of schedule, quality wins and powerrankings.
Miami is making its 29th straight tournament appearance to extend itsNCAArecord, and Florida State is in it for the 24th consecutive year.
Louisiana-Lafayette (28-28) and San Jose State (37-22-1), who bothplayed inthe College World Series last year, were not among this year's 64 teams.Otherteams of note that were left out included Eastern Illinois, which was 35-20but19-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference, Wichita State (42-24), which last failedtomake the tournament in 1986, and Missouri Valley Conference regular-seasonchampion Southwest Missouri State (36-22).
Houston (29-28) and South Florida (32-29) received at-large berthsdespitehaving records close to .500.
'They had strong non-conference schedules and high-quality wins,' Groffsaid. 'Houston had one of the toughest schedules in the country and had winsover Texas Tech, Texas, Rice and Tulane this season.'
There are no teams making their first tournament appearances, and 25 ofthe64 played in it last year.
Northern Iowa (34-26), winner of the Missouri Valley Conferencetournament,is in the tournament for the first time since 1961, when it was called IowaTeachers College. William & Mary (35-18) won the Colonial AthleticAssociationtournament for its first appearance since 1983.
Bethune-Cookman (26-32), Temple (27-29) and Princeton (22-23) won theirconferences to receive automatic bids despite losing records.
The winners of each regional will advance to the super regionals ateightsites to be determined. The eight winners of the super regionals, whichbeginJune 1, will play in the College World Series, which starts June 8.