The 2016 NCAA baseball tournament field of 64 teams is officially set. You know what that means right?
And you know what brackets mean, right?
FILLIN OUT BRACKETS!
Click to enlarge so you can actually read this thing.
Florida will win it all.
It's a popular opinion by most college baseball pundits, but whatever, we also think that the Gators will hoist the hardware in Omaha. Kevin O'Sullivan has been there done that (four CWS trips in nine years, runner-up in 2011) and his team is loaded with talent from top to bottom. Florida's led by left-hander A.J. Puk (90 strikeouts in 65.2 innings), who will more than likely be the No. 1 pick in this year's MLB Draft. Oh and they also have Logan Shore and Alex Faedo, who combined for 22 wins and 183 strikeouts in 171 innings this season. With plenty of arm talent to go around (3.08 team ERA) and a stingy defense (.983 team fielding percentage), the Gators should finally get that elusive title.
There will be upsets.
Coastal Carolina, Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss are all going to make noise this year.
Coastal ran roughshod through the Big South Conference, winning 21 games on the MLB-caliber arm of Alex Cunningham, who touches 94 on the reg. Look for them to knock off NC State.
We're picking C-USA Player of the Year C.J. Chatham, who's hitting .367 and slugging .574, and Cameron Ragsdale, he of a 1.67 ERA and 15 saves, to carry FAU past No. 3 national seed Miami.
Florida State will continue its trend of hosting regionals, but this time it will lose to a Southern Miss club that's on fire after winning the C-USA Tournament. The Mustard Buzzards swing it well (.308 team average) and pitch it well enough to beat an overrated Seminole club that lost 20 games this season.
Ole Miss will make another run to Omaha.
Since dropping a series to State in April, Ole Miss seems to have found its identity at the plate, particularly during a blazing hot run to the semis in Hoover. An FAU upset over Miami would open the door for the Rebs to host a super in Oxford. Once in Omaha, Tate Blackman, Colby Bortles, Henri Lartigue and J.B. Woodman could find those enormous power alleys at TD Ameritrade Park to be very kind.
On the mound, Brady Bramlett continues to be Mr. Consistency and David Parkinson continues to get better and better with each outing. I look for Chad Smith to slowly put it together and for the bullpen to continue to be lights out once again. But, the Rebels' lack of a true third starter and inconsistency at the bottom of the lineup will ultimately doom them in the semifinals. Smith and James McArthur have shown flashes but it won't be enough to take down the eventual runner-up Cardinals from Louisville.