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FSU/UF to host NCAA regionals; 4 other Florida teams make field

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The 64-team NCAA Baseball Tournament field was announced on Monday with 6 Florida teams receiving bids. Two will be hosting a regional, while three others are seeded second and another earning a three-seed.

The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles will host regionals that include in-state competitors. The only qualifier to travel outside of the state is the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.

FGCU, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time, are the second seed in the Chapel Hill Regional and will face third-seeded Michigan in their first game. The top seed is the nation’s number two overall seed, North Carolina.

Florida earned the third overall seed nationally and will open against fourth-seeded Marist. The other Gainesville Regional matchup features the second-seeded South Florida Bulls and third-seeded Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. If they win the regional, Florida would also host a Super Regional.

Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast and Florida State were automatic qualifiers after winning their conference tournaments, while the others are at-large entries.

Earning the second seed in Tallahassee is the Central Florida Knights, who will open regional play against third-seeded Auburn. FSU opens against Tennessee Tech.

Should the Seminoles survive the regional, they would face the winner of the Lubbock Regional featuring the 5th national seed Texas Tech. The last two seasons saw FSU’s season end in the Gainesville Super Regional against the Gators. This year, the Gainesville regional winner is paired with the winner of the Winston-Salem Regional featuring the regional’s top seed, Wake Forest.

Florida State’s selection marks the 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA field. That is now the longest streak in the nation after Miami was not chosen for the first time in 45 years.

The top 8 national seeds are Oregon State, North Carolina, Florida, LSU, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Louisville and Stanford.

 

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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