Ray Tanner and his South Carolina Gamecocks might be the defending national champions of the College World Series, but it’s Virginia and Florida who were announced today as the favorites of the 2011 NCAA Baseball Tournament as play heads into the first round of Regionals.
Virginia draws the No. 1 overall seed in the field of 64 with a 49-9 overall record. The Cavaliers face Navy in a double elimination round and should enjoy a smooth ride through to the Super Regionals. It’s there that they begin to run into trouble with Cal State Irvine or Fresno State providing a quality opponent. UCLA is also in the mix.
Florida, meanwhile, should also enjoy such a ride against Manhattan to get to the Super Regionals. Florida went 45-16 on the season, but must be careful considering recent Florida teams have went out in the Regionals or Super Regionals unexpectedly. Georgia Tech likely awaits them in the Super Regional.
Other top seeds include the North Carolina at No. 3 and the defending champs at No. 4. Florida State, Vanderbilt, Texas and Rice round out the top 8 seeds.