The college baseball regular season is in the books, conference champions have been crowned and a field of 64 has been selected. It’s time for the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament.
The tournament starts Thursday, and over the next month, more than 100 games will be played to determine this year’s champion.
But before the first pitch, we’re breaking down the tournament and its field by the numbers:
8 — Teams from the SEC in the field of 64, the most of any conference. Thirty-one conferences sent representatives to the tournament, but none more than the SEC. The conference boasts two national seeds — Florida (No. 3) and LSU (No. 4), along with Kentucky, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Auburn and Texas A&M. The ACC and Big 12 are right behind the SEC with seven teams (and two national seeds) each and the Big Ten comes in fourth with five squads in the tournament. In total, 11 conferences had more than one team make the field.
|SEC||8||Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Auburn, Texas A&M|
|ACC||7||North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia, NC State|
|Big 12||7||Texas Tech, TCU, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Oklahoma St.|
|Big Ten||5||Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Iowa|
|Pac-12||4||Oregon St., Stanford, Arizona, UCLA|
|American||3||Houston, UCF, South Florida|
|Big West||2||Long Beach St., Cal St. Fullerton|
|C-USA||2||Southern Miss., Rice|
|Southland||2||Southeastern La., Sam Houston St.|
|MVC||2||Missouri St., Dallas Baptist|
|Big East||2||Xavier, St. John's (NY)|
64.99 percent — Average winning percentage of all 64 teams. The highest winning percentage should be no surprise. No. 1 overall Oregon State, at 49-4 on the year, sits at an astonishing 92.45 percent. It’s a stark contrast from the other end of the spectrum — Texas Southern, which finished 20-32 (38.46 percent) in the regular season. No team in the field has more wins that Oregon State or more losses than Texas Southern. Still, there are three teams that have dropped 30 or more games (Radford at 27-30, Marist at 32-31 and Texas Southern), and the Beavers are the only squad that has kept its losses in the single digits.
3 — Teams of the 64-team field with a losing record. Those would be Radford, Texas Southern and Holy Cross (23-27). On the flip side, six squads have won 75 percent or more of their matchups (Oregon State, Louisville [82.46 percent], North Carolina [79.66 percent], St. John’s [79.25 percent], Southern Miss [77.42 percent], and Virginia [75 percent].
6.48 — Average runs scored per game by each team in the field. The highest-powered offense in the tournament belongs to Southern Miss., which drives in 8.4 every game, while Texas Southern sits at the bottom of the pool with just 5.06. While Southern Miss. leads the way in the tournament, the Golden Eagles were actually just the fourth-best offense this year. The top three highest-scoring teams in Division I — Morehead St. (8.9 runs per game), Air Force (8.77), and New Mexico (8.57) — all failed to make the NCAA tournament.
3.99 — Average ERA of all tournament teams. It’s not much of a shocker who leads the way on the mound, as Oregon State finished the season with a combined team ERA of 1.84, which was the best in Division I, 0.73 lower than the next best team. Again on the other side is Texas Southern, which posted a 6.47 ERA on the year, which was good for the 261st best ERA in Division I. It was still a far cry from last place, which was held by Saint Peter’s and its 11.45 ERA — the only ERA of all 295 teams in double digits.
138 — Number of games played in last year’s tournament. The 2016 regionals played host to 101 games and the Super Regionals had 20, which led to the College World Series, where eight teams played 14 games before Coastal Carolina and Arizona faced off three times to decide the national champion.
3 — 2016 tournament losses by last year’s champ Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers fell to NC State in their regional matchup, swept LSU in the super regional, lost once to TCU in the CWS before getting revenge, then fell to Arizona in game one the CWS finals before winning twice in a row to capture the crown. This year, however, Coastal Carolina failed to make the field of 64, leaving the path open for a new champion. Will this year's winner best the Chanticleers' impressive June record?