N.C. State's baseball coaches and players were stunned Monday to learn the Wolfpack was not one of the top eight national seeds for the NCAA Championship, which begins
North Carolina was made the overall No. 1 seed. Virginia was seeded sixth and Florida State was the No. 7 seed, putting those three ACC teams in position to host an NCAA Super Regional should they advance through regional play.
The Pack, 44-14 after the 2-1, 18-inning loss Saturday against UNC, expected to be in the top eight. Most college analysts expected it. But the NCAA selection committee picked Oregon as the No. 8 seed and that was that.
NCSU coach Elliott Avent, asked his reaction to the seedings, said, "Shocked. Just totally, absolutely shocked.
"You put in months putting the schedule together and the thought process is RPI, strength of schedule, who you can play, academics, all those things. So you do everything the right way and you play a tough schedule and then you have to go out and perform. In our case we had injuries early on and (the committee) factors that in, and winning 27 of the last 31 and you play the No. 1 team an 18-inning ballgame.
"I don't know what else this team could do. All I can say is shocked, disappointed. I've seen stuff before in life that I don't understand, and yet I really do understand how things happen. It's just disappointing."
Avent said he walked out of the Doak Field locker room, where the team gathered to watch the NCAA selection show on ESPN, in disgust before the regional field was announced. The Pack will face fourth-seeded Binghamton (30-23) in its first game Friday at 7 p.m. Second-seeded Mississippi (37-22) will play third seed William & Mary (37-22) at 2 p.m.
"We know who we're playing, we know we're not a national seed, so we know what we have to do," Avent said.
The winner of the Raleigh Regional will play the winner of the Eugene Regional in a Super Regional. Oregon is hosting the Eugene Regional.
N.C. State has placed a bid for a Super Regional. Should the Pack win its regional and Oregon not win its regional, it's likely NCSU would host the Super Regional.
"You've got to move forward and get ready for what's next," centerfielder Brett Williams said. "We know we've got some serious competition coming to our regional. We're just excited for the postseason."