ARTICLE OF THE DAY
A Look at The
by Coach Gary Overton
The ECU Baseball Pirates
drew the No. 4 seed in the Conference USA tournament and will play
fifth seeded Houston in the opening game of the tournament Wednesday
morning at 10a.m. EDT in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at Pete Taylor Park.
The Pirates and Cougars, who did not meet during the 2005 season, will
face either Tulane or UAB in the second round, depending on the outcome
of both contests.
East Carolina finished the regular season with a record of 34-22
overall and an 18-12 mark in Conference USA, but will the fourth place
finish be good enough to impress the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee
when it passes out bids on Monday? Leaving nothing to chance the
Pirates can make it a moot point by winning the C-USA Tournament, but
here’s a look at the field and possibilities for what the Pirates need
to do for advancement into NCAA play:
Conference USA – Tulane is a national seed while TCU and Southern Miss
are probably in, but this league has generally been a four-team entrant
and that serves ECU very well. The Pirates are the only other deserving
team and have played a very demanding schedule with several quality
wins. A win against Tulane in the league tournament would boost ECU’s
RPI and two wins should secure the berth.
America East – One bid only and it appears Northeastern has an inside
track. Don’t count out Maine who is no stranger to NCAA Tournament play.
Atlantic Coast Conference – Seven teams will probably make the field
here. Miami and Georgia Tech are most certain to host with Florida St.
and one other a definite possibility. That other could possibly be
Clemson after sweeping Miami along with a strong finish or UNC after
two wins against Ga. Tech or even N.C. State after its two impressive
wins against Florida St. Regardless of the host teams, all six will
enter along with Virginia.
Atlantic Sun – Two bids go out here as regular season champion Troy
deserves one, likewise for future C-USA opponent Central Florida with a
40-16 overall record.
Atlantic 10 – Only one bid will come from this league and there is no
reason to think anyone other than Rhode Island or George Washington
will get it.
Big East – By virtue of a series sweep over Notre Dame two weeks ago,
St. Johns is the only worthy candidate of a bid and that is in jeopardy
should the Red Storm not win this tournament.
Big South – Coastal Carolina 44-12 has been red hot throughout the
season and solidified its stance by knocking off Ga. Tech and UNC on
the road in consecutive weeks. While the Chanticleers will not host,
they are not far from doing so or being seeded no. 1. Winthrop at 39-19
should also receive a bid unless an undeserving team wins their
Big Ten – Illinois and Michigan are the teams here, but the Wolverines
only because of some quality wins, two of which came in the Keith
LeClair Classic at Clark-LeClair Stadium in March. The team not winning
this tournament has every reason to worry.
Big 12 – Texas, Baylor, and Nebraska will all host but who will get in
after that? Missouri has a chance, but not much is expected from any of
the other pretenders.
Big West – This underrated league boasts two teams who should
definitely host as no. 1 seeds in Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach
State. After that, Cal Poly is a possibility, but probably can be
placed on the downside of the bubble.
CAA – Wilmington is a strong possibility to win the tournament as its
played on the UNC-W campus and the Seahawks ran away with the regular
season crown. Only two quality wins which came against ECU and Virginia
make them a stretch to advance as an at-large entry.
Horizon – Illinois-Chicago, like UNC-W in the Colonial, won its regular
season going away and is only deserving team in this league.
Ivy – Harvard has clinched.
Metro-Atlantic – Look for Marist to continue their NCAA run as only one
team advances here also.
Mid-American – Another underrated league as four teams, Miami-Ohio,
Ball St., Kent St., and Central Michigan vie for one spot.
Mid-Continent – Oral Roberts is working to secure this league's one and
MEAC – Former ECU opponent NCA&T has won this tournament and looks
forward to NCAA.
Missouri Valley – Look for Creighton 41-13 and Wichita
State 43-20 to advance but Southern Illinois 35-18 is making a
Mountain West – BYU will continue their winning ways into the NCAA
unless it fails to win the league tournament.
Northeast – Won yesterday by Quinnipiac.
Ohio Valley – One bid only, possibly Jacksonville St.
Pac 10 – Oregon St. is not only a host but national seed as well.
Arizona, Arizona St. and Stanford make this a five bid league. This
league also makes a lot of noise in NCAA play so watch out if you have
to play one.
Patriot League – Army won it weeks ago.
SEC – A record nine teams have advanced the last two years and this
year should be no exception. Auburn will be the only entrant not
qualifying for its conference tournament and still advancing.
Vanderbilt with a 36-19 record isn’t good enough after finishing 10th
in the league. All eight teams in league tournament action move on in
Southern – Former opponent of ECU, College of Charleston has played its
way into a possible host site and no.1 seed.
Southland – Northwestern St., is another team playing its league
championship at home.
SWAC – Southern Univ. should garner the bid from this league.
Sun Belt – Louisiana-Lafayette is bidding for a no.1 seed while South
Alabama looks to be in.
West Coast – Pepperdine as always.
WAC – Rice, who else?
Here’s hoping for a competitive field with the Pirates getting their
seventh consecutive NCAA regional appearance.
Coach Gary Overton