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Arizona Daily Star Tucson Oddities
♦ Shawn Davis on Twitter: The @MUTigerBaseball bullpen has a 1.91 ERA over its last 22 games, spanning 89.1 innings. #NotTooShabby
♦ Breaking down NCAA bracket (ESPN.com)
Easiest Regional Honorable mention: Tucson♦ Toughest Regionals: #3 Tucson (Perfect Game)
No. 2 seed New Mexico State started 30-11 but struggled down the stretch and gave up 30 runs in its two WAC tournament games. If Missouri stays hot, the Tigers could be the biggest risk to Arizona.
The Wildcats were one of the final teams to earn an NCAA Regional host, and as expected, they received a legitimately tough field of teams. The Wildcats will have to get through red-hot Missouri in the first game, while New Mexico State, which is very good offensively and Louisville, which is very balanced, will be waiting in the wings. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Wildcats get tripped up this weekend.♦ Aggies baseball lands NCAA at-large bid (Las Cruces Sun-News)
The Aggies enter the NCAA Tournament 5-5 in their last 10 games, but NMSU closed the regular season 5-9.♦ Arizona Wildcats baseball: Seth Mejias-Brean providing spark at right time (Tucson Citizen)
Yet Ward had a good feeling as the team convened at Las Cruces restaurant The Game on Monday to watch the NCAA Selection Show. That is until the network revealed a list of "Bubble" teams that included New Mexico State in the first segment.
"How can a team be a bubble team if its a No. 2 seed," Ward said. "That was what made me nervous."
In the end, the Aggies' body of work got them in, not to mention their geography in the West.
"I thought we deserved a No. 2 seed but was shocked that they did it," Ward said. "That's important for the psyche of the team that national baseball people did that. They understand how important it is for programs. Baseball is unique in that way."
NMSU was 12-10 this year against NCAA Tournament teams Arizona (Pac 12 champions), New Mexico (Mountain West Tournament champions and co-regular season champion), Sacred Heart (Northeastern Conference Tournament Champion) and Kent State (Mid Atlantic regular season and tournament champion).
The Aggies beat Regional host Arizona twice in March at Hi Corbett Field when the Wildcats were ranked No. 5 in the country.
At 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, the Cienega High graduate fills out a uniform better than anybody on the team. Pro scouts love his projectability, whether it’s at third base, in the outfield or at catcher – a position he’s never played before.♦ Louisville baseball happy to be back in the NCAA Tournament (Louisville Courier-Journal)
“I mean, look at his body,” shortstop Alex Mejia said. “You can see him playing in the big leagues, like, next year.
“I’ve never seen a player like him. When he hits it, and the ball’s flying out, it’s hit so hard. … Really, it’s almost like the thing is yelling.”
The Cardinals shared the Big East Conference regular-season championship but come into the NCAA off a disappointing showing in the conference tournament. U of L lost twice Friday, finishing the event 1-2 as the top seed.♦ VIDEO: Watch what Arizona baseball player Bobby Brown says about Pac-12 superiority to the Big 12. (BlubergOTB at twitvid.com)
“We have to get down to business,” Amlung said. “Our showing at the Big East Tournament, that really wasn’t Louisville baseball. We’re working hard, and we’re definitely going to come out this weekend and play good ball.”
U of L, which is 9-6 this season against teams that made the NCAA, is ranked No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and has an RPI of 42.
♦ MU athletic director sees big differences between Big 12, SEC (Kansas City Star)
But even though they are the new kids on the block (along with Texas A&M), Alden insists they have already been made to feel welcome. While MU and A&M officials have repeatedly indicated a desire to be seen and not heard — “you don’t want to come right in pounding the table,” joked A&M coach Kevin Sumlin — Alden says he’s already been asked his opinions on certain matters.♦ Mizzou senses more harmony in the SEC (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
“(They) might turn and say ‘Mike, what are your thoughts, what did you experience in the Big 12 that can help us here?’ ” Alden said.
And while some of that surely has to do with the fact Alden has been around a while and worked with several SEC administrators for years — you get to know people if you chair the right committees, he said — there’s one thing about it that gives him faith, that lets him know Missouri’s new conference experience will be a good one, perhaps better than its last.
“That stuff,” Alden said, “happens all the time.”
"In my opinion, it comes from (Commissioner) Mike Slive; I think he's one of the great leaders in college sport, maybe all of sport," said Alden, further noting that Mizzou and A&M are just the third and fourth additions to the SEC since it was founded in 1932. "And nobody's leaving. Nobody's looking to. ...
"What I love about it is these schools, they don't talk about just living in the moment. They talk about what's good for the league a decade from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now.
"And I'm not used to that. We're used to being in reactive mode vs. being in proactive mode. And I don't say that negatively. That's a fact."
♦ Oklahoma State fires Frank Anderson (Baseball America)
Oklahoma State fired coach Frank Anderson on Tuesday after nine seasons. Anderson led the Cowboys to a 329-208 record (123-113 in the Big 12), including a 32-25 mark this season. The Cowboys made regionals in six of his nine seasons, including last season, but a poor Ratings Percentage Index ranking kept them out of the NCAA tournament this season after a fifth-place finish in the Big 12.
♦ For an entertaining read, check out the twitter stream over the lsat few days of @OlsenSection203, the Aggie heckling group that cheered on the Tigers at Bricktown
♦ VIDEO: Best plays from Baseball's Championship (Mzzou Network)