DURHAM, N.C. -- Experts say there is no probably no way Miami, Florida and Florida State will all get to host regionals next week. They say there is no way the NCAA would award three of the available 16 host sites to teams from the same state, not when the sport is making an effort to make teams from the north feel like they have a fairer shot at getting to Omaha.
But that hasn't stopped UM coach Jim Morris from keeping the dream alive -- even after his team was eliminated from the ACC Tournament by FSU on Thursday. Morris believes Friday's game against Boston College still matters for that reason.
If you overlook the current rankings (Baseball America has UM 23rd) and pay attention to UM's body of work, Morris has a strong case. His team swept the Gators in Gainesville earlier this year, split the season meetings with the Noles, and finished finished fifth in the toughest conference in the country (but not by much).
Unlike college basketball, there is no official RPI or Joe Lunardi around to provide us with serious insight as to what the selection committee will likely do when it announces its field Monday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN. But, Morris and most college baseball coaches believe the pseudo-RPI system used BoydsWorld.com is extremely accurate. Even after Thursday's loss to the Noles, BoydsWorld has Miami ranked 8th in the country. That's good enough to not only host Regionals, but Super Regionals too.
MORRIS, MARTIN LIKE ACC TOURNAMENT FORMAT
You may not like the fact that the Seminoles have already locked up a bid to Sunday's ACC Title game after just two games. But Morris and FSU coach Mike Martin have no problem with it or the format of the ACC Tournament, which splits its top eight teams into divisions and let's them play three games in a round robin format before the top two teams advance to a championship.
Both coaches say its the best way for their teams to compete for a title and save their pitching for the tournament that really matters -- the one that ends in Omaha.
“I like the format and I’d have a very hard time voting for something else,” Martin said. “I remember a while back when Georgia Tech had to play three games in one day in Winston Salem. That really put them behind the eight-ball next week [in regionals] and for what they really started playing for in August. This is the only way I think is best for the schools that are trying to get to Omaha.”
Morris agrees. "Whether you like this scenario or don’t like this scenario, it’s the best scenario in my opinion because it prepares you for the NCAA Tournament," Morris said. "It determines the true champion of the ACC with two brackets. I think it’s the best scenario even though people can argue the double elimination. But if you do it that way you blow out your pitching staff. Every team that goes to the NCAA Tournament is going to have three of their pitchers get a start and at the same time you are getting a champion that’s going to be in a one game playoff. This is not for the national championship, its for the ACC Tournament, which is big after we won it last year. But the bottomline is you have to get ready for the next tournament."