There’s something strange about this year’s college baseball tournament bracket.


West Coast fans will see a lot of familiar fonts this weekend.
Photo by Matt Pavelek/The Arizona Republic

Half of the 16 regionals feature a Pac-10 team.

It is very possible we will never see this again. But at the same time, with the exception of Oregon, each of this year’s Pac-10 participants has been in the tournament within the past two years. Even the odd men out, USC (2005) and Washington (2004), have made recent appearances.

Maybe this is just the result of a good baseball league becoming great.

Here is what each Pac-10 team is up against as it tries to survive and advance:

ARIZONA (33-22)
Seed/Regional: #3 – Fort Worth, TX
Last Tournament: 2008
Last 10 Years: 6 tournaments
Last CWS: 2004
National Championships: 1976, 1980, 1986
Friday Opponent: #2 Baylor (34-22)
Other 2 Teams: #1 TCU (46-11) vs. #4 Lamar (35-24)

Your Stress-Free Wildcats play at noon Arizona time. You can watch free online video right here (you may have to click to the 2nd page of events).

Arizona State (47-8)
Seed/Regional: #1 – Tempe, AZ
Last Tournament: 2009
Last 10 Years: 10 tournaments
Last CWS: 2009
National Championships: 1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981
Friday Opponent: #4 Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Other 2 Teams: #2 San Diego vs. #3 Hawaii

The Sun Devils have made every tournament since 1999. But Wisconsin-Milwaukee has just as many national championships during that span.

California (29-23)
Seed/Regional: #2 – Norman, OK
Last Tournament: 2008
Last 10 Years: 3 tournaments
Last CWS: 1992
National Championships: 1947, 1957
Friday Opponent: #3 North Carolina (36-20)
Other 2 Teams: #1 Oklahoma (44-15) vs. #4 Oral Roberts (35-25)

Do the Bears prefer to be known as the worst 2-seed in the field or the at-large bid with the fewest wins?

Oregon (38-22)
Seed/Regional: #3 – Norwich, CT
Last Tournament: 1964
Last 10 Years: none
Last CWS: 1954
National Championships: none
Friday Opponent: #2 Connecticut (47-14)
Other 2 Teams: #1 Florida State (42-17) vs. #4 Central Connecticut State (33-21)

Hawaii is in the field so Oregon can’t claim the longest travel distance. Now the Ducks just have to beat the #1 seed and two local teams. No problem, right?

Oregon State (31-22)
Seed/Regional: #3 – Gainesville, FL
Last Tournament: 2009
Last 10 Years: 5 tournaments
Last CWS: 2007
National Championships: 2006, 2007
Friday Opponent: #2 Florida Atlantic (35-22)
Other 2 Teams: #1 Florida (42-15) vs. #4 Bethune-Cookman (35-20)

Florida has to be a little nervous. The postseason is what Pat Casey’s Beavers do best.

Stanford (31-23)
Seed/Regional: #2 – Fullerton, CA
Last Tournament: 2008
Last 10 Years: 8 tournaments
Last CWS: 2008
National Championships: 1987, 1988
Friday Opponent: #3 New Mexico (37-20)
Other 2 Teams: #1 Cal State Fullerton (41-15) vs. #4 Minnesota (30-28)

Arizona is responsible for 13% of CSF’s losses and 25% of ASU’s losses. That has to count for something, right?

UCLA (43-13)
Seed/Regional: #1 – Los Angeles, CA
Last Tournament: 2008
Last 10 Years: 5 tournaments
Last CWS: 1997
National Championships: none
Friday Opponent: #4 Kent State (39-23)
Other 2 Teams: #2 LSU (40-20) vs. UC Irvine (37-19)

First eight Pac-10 teams get in, then we have a 40-win SEC team playing on the road. Are we sure this isn’t the softball bracket?

Washington State (34-20)
Seed/Regional: #2 – Fayetteville, AR
Last Tournament: 2009
Last 10 Years: 2 tournaments
Last CWS: 1976
National Championships: none
Friday Opponent: #3 Kansas State (36-20)
Other 2 Teams: #1 Arkansas (40-18) vs. #4 Grambling State (22-30)

The Cougars have made back-to-back tournaments after finishing in last place the first eight seasons after Pac-10 baseball merged.

The college baseball tournament may not be nearly as famous as its basketball brother but this is where Cinderella truly lives. In the past three years we’ve had both a 3-seed (the equivalent of a March Madness #9-12 seed) and a 4-seed (#13-16) win the whole thing.

Yeah, George Mason made the Final Four a few years back. But in college baseball, George Mason can cut down the nets.

Who is going to get hot this weekend? Which pitcher is going to put his team on his back?

Whatever happens, we’ll be watching. For free.