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Here are our 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament bracket predictions

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The Rebs make their return to Omaha in our bracket.

2017 Division I Men's College World Series - LSU v Florida - Game 1 Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Back in 1947, eight teams competed for the national title in college baseball. Since then, the tournament field has expanded quite a bit, now sitting at a 64-team field that labels eight national seeds and seeds eight more that are also regional hosts.

Last season saw your typical eight national seed distinction with one, obviously, winning it all: Florida. Of those eight national seeded teams, only five made it to Omaha to play at TD Ameritrade: Oregon State, Florida, LSU, TCU, and Louisville. But, this is actually pretty normal because as you can imagine, college sports are wacky.

Last year, top-seeded Oregon State was the only one of the 293 Division I baseball teams to have single-digit losses, and they dropped two games in Omaha, failing to make it to the finals. This season, you’ve got gaudy records like Tennessee Tech, who is in Oxford, with a 48-9 record and Pac 12 blue bloods Stanford and Oregon State who have a combined 88 wins.

But, when it comes to the postseason, everyone is 0-0.

Looking at this year’s field, though, the committee appears to have gotten it right because the top eight teams are all damn good. And could find themselves all sharing a Hilton or Marriott in Nebraska in a few weeks.

So naturally, here at the Cup we’re going to take it upon ourselves to make predictions.

Ben Woodhouse

Florida, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Stetson, Louisville, UConn, Vanderbilt

Christoph Ludwig

Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisville, St. John’s

Gray Hardison

Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida State, North Carolina, Florida State, Texas Tech

Jeff Gray

Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Clemson, Stetson, Louisville

Nicholas Carr

Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Clemson, Stetson, Louisville

One Man to Beat

Florida, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida State, Stetson, Coastal Carolina, Texas Tech, LSU

smeargle

Florida, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida State, UNC, Coastal Carolina, Louisville

Zach Berry

Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, North Carolina, Clemson, Louisville

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bold indicates national seed

Florida is still good.

So everyone predicts the defending national champs will make their triumphant return to Omaha to defend their title. Kevin O’Sullivan’s club might have been swept by Mississippi State to close the season and had an early exit in Hoover, they are still loaded with talent and might be getting a couple important folks back in the lineup returning from injury.

SEC Player of the Year Jonathan India struggled at Regions Park last week but that struggle won’t last long if you ask me. And it seems to not have bothered anyone else when making their predictions. All-American J.J. Schwarz is recovering from a broken hand and might be back in time for the Super Regionals and could lead the Gators back to Nebraska. And you have to think fellow All-American and projected top five pick Brady Singer is itching to go as well.

The Rebels’ road is paved for Omaha.

Just like the Gators trend, we all pick Ole Miss to make their 6th apperance in steak country. The Rebs are a mere two wins away from tying the season record and three from breaking it. It’s arguably Mike Bianco’s most talented team from top-to-bottom since 2005. And this weekend’s regional isn’t a cake walk, but Ole Miss should be talented enough to navigate it without any major speed bumps.

The road to the College World Series does set up rather nice for Bianco and his club. They are paired with the Austin, Tex. regional which has the host Longhorns holding serve as the one seed and the Indiana Hoosiers, Texas A&M Aggies, and Texas Southern joining them. If it goes to chalk, it’ll be a nice rematch of the 2005 Super Regional that the Rebs lost in three. Not exactly some demons that need exercising, but it would make quite a few people happy.

National seeds rule the roost in our brackets.

According to the data gathered by Daniel Wilco, 2017’s regionals (where North Carolina, Texas Tech, and Stanford didn’t survive) were quite the anomaly. Since 1999, national seeds haven’t fared very well, losing in the regional round 21 percent of the time.

Then, in the next round it doesn’t get much better as 22 percent fail to make it out of the supers. Thanks to our lovely friend Daniel, we now know that on average 4.5 national seeds (56.5 percent) make it to Omaha in a typical year, though we saw five survive this year.

But, despite getting there, the national seeds chances of winning it all aren’t great. In the 19-year history of the modern-day NCAA baseball tournament, 23 national seeds (only 15 percent) have made it to the finals, but even including last year’s champs, only eight have ever won the title (just 5 percent).

NCAA

So despite our blog’s confidence in all the national seeds making it out to the Midwest for the last hurrah of the college baseball season, it’s still going to be tough-sledding for you with history, the numbers, and odds stacked against you.


Regional play gets underway this Friday and runs through Monday, if necessary. Following that, the Super Regionals will be the following weekend leading to Omaha for the College World Series in Omaha will begin on June 16 and last until June 26 or 27.

Here is an interactive bracket, make your predictions and let us know who you have in Omaha below in the comments.