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NCAA Baseball Championship Top 5 Over/Undervalued Teams

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1. Oregon State- (Overvalued) The Beavers were selected as the 15th overall national seed due largely to name recognition and past success. They finished the year with a sub 500 record against Quad 1/2 teams (8-9) and there are 10 non-national seeds in the field of 64 with as many Quad 1/2 wins (17) as they have faced opponents. Their 8 Quad 1/2 wins is the fourth fewest among non-4-seeds and only 1 more than their Friday opponent 4-seeded Tulane. Goss Stadium in Corvallis is always a difficult environment for opposing teams but anything beyond winning a challenging regional (5th toughest out of 16) seems highly unlikely.

2. Arizona- (Overvalued) The Wildcats captured both the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championship and earned the 13th overall national seed behind an elite pitching staff that ranked 19th nationally in team ERA (4.33) and 1st in walks allowed (2.50). However, it is fair to argue this could be the most vulnerable national seed in this week's regional play thanks to an unlucky draw. The offense, which has had its struggles ranking outside the top 170 nationally in both runs scored and home runs per game, must face 3 above average pitching staffs in Dallas Baptist, Grand Canyon, and West Virginia which all rank in the top 60 in ERA.

3. Georgia Tech- (Undervalued) The Yellow Jackets led by 31-year Head Coach Danny Hall are back in the regionals for the 4th time in the past 5 full seasons and the 24th time since he took over in 1994. Offensively the lineup was formidable ranking 27th in team batting average and 34th in home runs per game. It put up 30 plus runs in 2 series wins against national seeds NC State and Virginia in conference play. The pitching staff ranked outside the top 200 in ERA but struck out 9.4 opponents per game and had the benefit of a top 40 defense behind them. If they get past UNCW on Friday they played Georgia tough in both losses back in March.

4. NC State- (Overvalued) The Wolfpack earned the 10th overall national seed thanks in part to a strong back end of the season that included series wins over Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest. It was far from smooth sailing at times early in the year dropping 4 straight in mid-March followed by a 5-game losing streak in early-April. The biggest reason behind the team’s highs and lows has been pitching. They enter regional play ranking 172nd nationally in team ERA (6.30) and a dreadful 203rd in walks allowed at 5.11 per game. While none of their regional opponents are elite offensively, they are more than capable of putting runs on the board which is huge challenge to overcome in a double elimination format.

5. Alabama- (Undervalued) The Crimson Tide posted a 33-22 record that included 17 Quad 1/2 wins against the 7 toughest schedule in Head Coach Rob Vaughn’s first season. Vaughn took Maryland to the regionals in 3 straight seasons from 2021-23 prior to taking the job last year. They collected series wins against Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina, and Tennessee despite finishing conference play with a sub 500 record. This is a very well-rounded team offensively ranking in the top 50 in team batting average and home runs per game. The pitching staff hasn’t been spectacular as far as allowing runs but does a good job of limiting walks and the defense has been solid behind them ranking 53rd in fielding percentage. No one is talking about them, but this could be one of the surprise teams to advance to the Super Regionals.

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