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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | June 1, 2021

1 thing to know about every team in the 2021 NCAA college baseball tournament field

2021 NCAA DI baseball tournament bracket selection show

Over the past several weeks, we have taken a close look at some players and teams to watch down the stretch. Now the conference championships are decided, the field is set and we can finally turn our attention to the final 64 teams left in the college baseball season as the Road to Omaha gets underway.

COLLEGE BASEBALL '21: Top sluggers | Impact freshmen | Scariest lineups |Top player by position

Of the 64 teams in the bracket, 24 of the teams made the tournament by winning their conference championships. The SEC lead the way with nine teams in the bracket, six of which are national seeds. The ACC was right behind with eight teams in the bracket, while the Pac-12 and Big 12 have the second-most national seeds with three apiece.

TOURNAMENT FAQ: Conference champ tracker | Regional sites | How the CWS works

Before first pitch gets underway, let's take a quick look at each team trying to reach the 2021 College World Series.

The field of 64 (in alphabetical order; * indicates host No. 1 seed or national seed)

Alabama — Despite ending the season with back-to-back top-25 losses in the SEC tournament, the Crimson Tide is still dancing. The Tide were off to a scorching hot 16-1 start to the 2020 season, well on their way to their first NCAA regional since 2014. The wait is now officially over. If the Tide are in close ballgames, they have an edge with Chase Lee in the bullpen. He has seven wins and seven saves this year.

BRACKET: Follow the 2021 NCAA tournament

Arizona* — The Pac-12 champs were an offensive juggernaut in 2021, led by a duo of freshmen bats in Jacob Berry and Daniel Susac. Berry hit a walk-off double in the finale — his program-record 36th extra base hit by a freshman — to get the Wildcats to 40 wins, the first time they've reached the mark since 2007. They enter the tournament the No. 5 national seed.

Arizona State — The Sun Devils were swept by UCLA to close out the season, but get a chance to redeem themselves in regionals, the 41st time Arizona State has earned a postseason bid. Ethan Long was one of the most prolific freshmen in the nation, leading the team with a .340 average, 16 home runs, 53 RBI and a .725 slugging percentage.

The college baseball freshmen who've made the biggest impact in 2021

Arkansas* — The OmaHogs are the national No. 1 seed, winners of 46 games and the SEC tournament. In one of the most dominating seasons in recent history, Arkansas locked up its first SEC tourney title to become just the third team in SEC history to win both the regular-season and tournament title. The Hogs are looking to make their third-straight trip to Omaha, and having Kevin Kopps to close out games is a tremendous advantage.

Army — May as well just rename the Patriot League to Army's League. The Black Knights earned their third-straight Patriot championship and 10th overall — the most since the league's inception in 1991. How's this for timing: Army's senior righty Ray Bartoli tossed his first career complete-game victory in the Black Knights' 6-1 victory over Lehigh in the championship game.

Campbell — The Camels are back in the tournament for the third season in a row, despite losing the Big South tourney to Presbyterian. Zach Neto was one of the more underrated two-way stars this season, so it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he makes in his tournament debut. The freshman went 4-0 in 11 appearances behind a 3.43 ERA and also hit .414 with 16 doubles and 10 home runs to go along with 12 stolen bases playing all over the diamond.

Central Connecticut — It was a typical situation for the Northeast Conference. Bryant and the Blue Devils faced off in the championship, and Central Connecticut walked away with the title for the third time in four years. What would you say if I told you the Blue Devils leading hitter was Dave Matthews? The senior hit .297 leading the team in doubles (13), home runs (7) and stolen bases (13).

Central Michigan — The Chippewas enter the tournament with a lot of momentum, winners of their last eight games including the season-ending sweep of Toledo to lock up the Mid-American. That is their second MAC title in a row, heading to the tournament in 2019 as well. The last time Central Michigan went to the tournament in back-to-back years was 1994-95. It's been a long time coming.

Charlotte — The 49ers were one of our surprise teams of 2021 and although they lost both of their C-USA tournament games, they are back in the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2011. Austin Knight has been a name we've mentioned a lot this year and is having one of the best seasons in program history, hitting .351 with a college baseball-best 29 doubles and 10 home runs.

UConn — The Huskies are headed to their third consecutive NCAA tournament after defeating Xavier in the Big East championship. But this was the first time UConn won both the regular season and tournament conference titles. While UConn has some players with pop, keep your eyes on Kyler Fedko, who hit .411 with 13 doubles, 13 home runs and an impressive 1.192 OPS.
 
DBU — The Patriots had one of the more memorable plays of the past week when Cole Moore launched himself over the first base wall in DBU's thrilling victory to win the Missouri Valley tournament. The Patriots locked up their seventh-straight trip to the tournament by scoring five runs in the 11th to defeat Indiana State. DBU is going to the tournament while Moore is still going viral.


Duke — The Blue Devils entered the ACC tournament as the ninth seed and walked out winners of their first ACC title in 60 years. It was Duke's fourth ACC title, but first since the tournament era began in 1973. The Blue Devils are scorching hot and haven't lost since May 8, entering the tournament on a 12-game winning streak.

East Carolina* — Though the Pirates dropped a 2-1 ballgame to UCF in the AAC tournament, ECU is one of 16 regional hosts for the fourth time in program history. It was just another year for the Pirates, who topped the 40-win plateau for the 16th time in program history. Connor Norby is one of the best in college baseball this season, hitting .424 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases.

Fairfield — The Stags were the last undefeated team of the season, beginning the year on a 28-0 run. This is just the second appearance for the Stags in the NCAA tournament, last making it in 2016. Fairfield's pitching staff leads DI with a 2.75 ERA, which helped the Stags win 37 games on the season, a new program record. And speaking of records, the Stags' current 92.5 winning percentage is the best in DI history.

Florida* — The Gators are hosting their 17th regional — and are the national 15 seed — but it's the first ever at the new Florida Ballpark. It's also their 13th consecutive regional appearance. The Gators made six College World Series appearances in the last decade, so they are looking to start this one off on the right foot. Watch out for the intriguing freshmen duo of Sterlin Thompson and Nathan Hickey. They combined to hit .312 with 14 home runs and 75 RBIs while each got on base at over a .400 lick. 

The top 11 college baseball sluggers in 2021

Florida State — What's a college baseball tournament without the Seminoles? Florida State is making its 43rd straight trip to the NCAA tournament, but the first one without Mike Martin, Sr. leading the way. Now it's Junior's turn to see if they can muster up that Seminole magic and return to Omaha for the second straight time. Slugger Matheu Nelson tied for the college baseball lead in homers with 22 if you're looking for an impact player to watch.

Georgia Tech — The Yellow Jackets fell in the ACC semifinals to NC State, but still had a strong season finding themselves in the top 25 for most of the year. As always, Catcher U had a promising star behind the plate. Freshman backstop Kevin Parada led the team with a .328 average and .552 slugging percentage to go along with 20 doubles and seven home runs. 

Gonzaga — The Bulldogs locked up their auto-bid to the tournament by defeating San Diego to win the West Coast Conference on Thursday but enter the tourney on a bit of a low after dropping the next two games. This is the Zags' eighth appearance and first since 2018. Alek Jacob has been one of the better pitchers, solid in both the starting rotation and out of the bullpen with seven wins and three saves.

Grand Canyon — What a win for the Lopes. Freshman Tyler Wilson hit the go-ahead, championship-deciding RBI single in the top of the ninth to capture the first-ever WAC tourney title. It was also head coach Andy Stankiewicz's 300th career win to secure Grand Canyon's first trip to the NCAA tournament. 

Indiana State — The Sycamores are making their second straight trip to the tournament and third since 2014. Indiana State surprised last time around, winning a pair of games in the Nashville Regional before losing to Vanderbilt. Geremy Guerrero has come out of nowhere to become a legitimate ace to watch.

Jacksonville — The Dolphins are easily the most surprising team to be in the 64-team field. Jacksonville began the season 0-8 and finished the season a mere 16-32 with three ASUN regular-season victories. But the Dolphins went 5-1 in the ASUN tournament stunning Liberty not once, but twice including a 7-3 victory to lock up their 16th trip to the NCAA postseason.

Liberty — The Flames play on even though they dropped the ASUN championship game. It is the second consecutive trip to the postseason for Liberty. Trevor Delaite leads the way on the mound with an 11-1 record and a 1.98 ERA while Aaron Anderson led the team in hitting with a .370 average. 

Louisiana Tech* — The Bulldogs are a host team for the first time in program history, earning the No. 16 national seed. It's the ninth appearance for Louisiana Tech and the first since 2016. The Bulldogs have a balanced offense with six regular players hitting better than .315. Hunter Wells leads the way, hitting .366 with 16 doubles and 11 home runs. 

LSU — Let the Paul Mainieri Farewell Tour begin. Mainieri, who has the most wins among active coaches and led LSU to the national championship in 2009, announced his retirement last week. Flashback to 2019 when the coach with the most wins in college baseball history announced his retirement. That season, an unlikely Florida State team got skipper Mike Martin, Sr. all the way to Omaha. It will be fun to watch if LSU can do the same. 

Maryland — The Terrapins, who finished .500 in 2019 and 24-30 the year prior, are back in the bracket for the first time since 2017. Maryland finished 28-16, all in Big Ten play, and took the season series against Michigan. Its second-place finish is the best in program history, which is impressive considering the Terps were just 6-9 coming out of April.

McNeese — The Cowboys repeated as Southland champs this year, earning their second straight trip to the bracket. It was a season like no other for the Pokes, who had to navigate Hurricane Laura and a national pandemic to get to this year's bracket. An 0-3 start to the season wasn't ideal, but they ended strong, sweeping through the Southland bracket. It just feels like they have some more story left to tell.

Miami (FL) — The Hurricanes opened the season in Gainesville and that's where they will open the 2021 tournament. In between the Hurricanes won 32 games, adding to their legacy, which is currently the third-best winning percentage in the history of college baseball. Miami — which made the tournament every year from 1973-2016 — will be making its 48th trip to the regionals, which is also third-most in history. Just another season in Coral Gables. 

Michigan — It's been a while, so here's a reminder that the Wolverines are the defending runners-up after their thrilling run to the finals in 2019. That was a veteran team, and a mere two years later, most of those faces are gone. That magical team helped Michigan return to the College World Series for the first time since 1984. The Wolverines are hoping to make back-to-back trips to Omaha, just like those 1983-84 teams did.

Mississippi State* — The Diamond Dawgs are back in the postseason, this time as the No. 7 national seed. Mississippi State has made the super regionals in each year since 2016 and have made back-to-back trips to Omaha and the College World Series. Of course, the Mayor of Starkville, Jake Mangum, has moved on to the pros, but Tanner Allen is looking to keep up college baseball's all-time hit leader barrage on baseballs. Allen enters the tourney on an 18-game hitting streak. 

NC State — The Wolfpack have a nice little regional streak going, having now made the bracket in each year since the 2010 season. This year's team has a rather interesting lineup with four hitters — Jonny Butler, Tyler McDonough, Terrell Tatum and Luca Tresh — combining for 49 home runs. Butler has been the guy to watch this season, hitting .388 with 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 14 RBIs.

Nebraska — There is no shortage of storylines here. The Cornhuskers weren't even in the top six of the Big Ten preseason rankings, and lo and behold, here they are, Big Ten champs and in the tournament once again. Where did they land you ask? Why, in Arkansas' regional, of course. Arkansas is coached by Dave Van Horn, who led Nebraska to back-to-back College World Series in 2001-02. This should be a good one to watch as the Huskers come in hot taking two of three from Michigan to close out the season.

Nevada — Let's welcome the Wolf Pack back to the NCAA tournament, as the Mountain West champs are making their first appearance since 2000. Nevada closed out the season winning 15 straight conference games en route to a 25-win season. Leading the way was Dillan Shrum, who is scorching hot amid a 13-game hitting streak in which he's had at least three hits in seven of those games. 

NJIT — Congratulations Highlander baseball. Celebrating the first-ever NCAA tournament in program history will be short-lived as they now must prepare to face off against college baseball's No. 1 team. How's that for the first postseason game for the America East champs? NJIT is on a nine-game winning streak to reach the 26-win mark, both of which are program records. 

Norfolk State — Another team making their first-ever tournament appearance, the MEAC champs caught fire at the right time. The Spartans won their last four games, including all three in the MEAC tournament and enter the NCAA bracket with a 25-26 record. Alsander Womack, who hit .358 on the season, sent Norfolk State to the postseason with a walk-off single in the 11th inning of the MEAC title game. 

Northeastern — There's little surprise here as the Huskies dominated the CAA all season, posting a 20-3 mark in conference play. A pair of dramatic home runs led the Huskies to the Colonial Athletic tournament title and a spot in this year's NCAA bracket. Ben Malgeri tied the game with his second home run of the day — his second straight multi-homer game — in the ninth before Max Viera walked it off in the tenth. 

North Carolina — The Tar Heels waited with bated breath after finishing 27-25 overall and 18-18 in the ACC. But here they are, back in the tournament for a fourth consecutive season. North Carolina opens against UCLA, who sent UNC home from the College World Series last time the two faced in the postseason. Fun fact: UNC has the second-most wins of the 2000s with 888, trailing only Florida State over that span.

North Dakota State — The Bison have won four FCS national championships since the last time their baseball brethren made the NCAA DI baseball championship. The Summit tournament champions are back in the bracket behind a program-record 41-win season. Bennett Hostetler and Jake Malec lead the way on offense while Cade Feeney and Evan Sankey lead the rotation.

Notre Dame* — The surprise season keeps going for the Fighting Irish, who are hosting a regional tournament for the first time since 2004 as the No. 10 national seed. This is quite a turnaround for a team that finished 24-30 in their last full season. It is the 22nd appearance all-time for Notre Dame as they look to get back to Omaha for the first time since 2002. That same year, Notre Dame was a host school.

Oklahoma State — Ho hum, the Cowboys are in the bracket. It has become almost the norm, this being their 46th overall appearance and eighth in a row. Oklahoma State finished the season fourth in the Big 12 but secured its spot in the bracket by defeating Texas to face TCU in the title game. Pitcher Justin Campbell has been one of the premier freshmen all season, so keep an eye on how he performs in his first tournament. 

Old Dominion* — And boom goes the dynamite. The Conference USA champs were one of the most explosive offenses in college baseball this season, launching a season-best 101 home runs. Kyle Battle led the way with 18, but there were eight regular starters that had at least seven home runs. This is the first NCAA postseason appearance since 2014 and the first time ODU is a No. 1 seed in its region, seeded No. 11 nationally. 

The scariest lineups in college baseball — so far — in 2021

Ole Miss* — The Rebels enter the tournament as the No. 12 national seed and will host its tenth regional in program history. Ole Miss was bounced from the SEC tournament by Arkansas but still posted an impressive 41-win season. Jacob Gonzalez and Kevin Graham lead the way in both average and home runs for the Rebels offense. 

Oregon* — The Ducks are another surprise team of 2021 after finishing 27-29 in 2019. Oregon saw a 10-game improvement, firing off 37 wins including a four-game sweep of tournament-bound UC Santa Barbara and two series wins against home state rival Oregon State. The No. 14 national seed is hosting for the first time since 2013, which was the second of consecutive seasons as a host. 

Oregon State — The Beavers are making their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and were the 2018 national champs. It is the 20th all-time appearance for Oregon State after posting a 34-22 record this season. Jake Mulholland and Kevin Abel are two veteran pieces from that national champion team, with Abel pitching the memorable complete game shutout in the clinching victory. 

Presbyterian — The Blue Hose are the Big South champs for the first time in program history, entering the tournament with a mere 22-21 record. They get to play the defending champs in their debut. Zacchaeus Rasberry, the Big South tournament MVP, is the name to watch on offense. He hit .314 and led the team with 10 home runs and 38 RBI to go along with 11 stolen bases. 

Rider — The Broncs are back in the tournament for the first time since 2010, making their 14th appearance all-time. They slugged their way to the Metro Atlantic championship, blasting five home runs in the 7-2 victory over Fairfield to earn the automatic bid.
 
Samford — It's always fun when you earn your spot in the bracket on a walk-off home run. That's exactly what Samford did in the Southern Conference tournament. Towns King launched the game-tying two-run bomb which was followed by Max Pinto's two-run dinger in a dramatic four-run ninth. Samford now plays Mississippi State, a team it played in both of its previous two NCAA tournament appearances.  

Southern — The 20-28 Jaguars are SWAC champs and are heading back to the tournament for the second season in a row. Not bad for a nine-win team in 2018, wouldn't you say? Like Samford, it took some late-game dramatics as Southern scored three runs in the top of the ninth in the deciding 7-6 victory over Jackson State in the SWAC finals. 

Southeast Missouri State — It was a strong season for the Redhawks, who finished as both the regular-season and tournament champions in the OVC. That locked up their fourth NCAA tournament berth and first in five years. Keep your eye on Tyler Wilbur at the place (.389, six home runs, 49 RBI) at the plate and Dylan Dodd (9-1, 2.78 ERA, 113 strikeouts) on the mound. 

South Alabama — It was surprising to see this is the Jaguars first trip to the tournament since 2017. They had become somewhat a regular over the years, this being their 28th all-time appearance. But the Sun Belt tourney champs are back in the NCAA postseason with Ethan Wilson leading the way. The star outfielder is hitting .319 with 12 doubles and eight home runs. 

South Carolina* — The Gamecocks are hosting a regional despite coming in as the No. 2 seed in that part of the bracket. The previous time a No. 1 seed had to travel to its regional host was in 2010, when Florida State traveled to the Norfolk Regional. While this is rare, it is a big advantage to South Carolina with Founders Park not only being one of the nicest stadiums in baseball, but one of the toughest to play in as well.

South Florida — The Bulls are the American Athletic champions, ending the season by winning six of their last seven games. It was the first time in 26 years and not many saw it coming: USF was predicted to finish last in the AAC. There is some pop in this lineup, with three players — led by Roberto Peña's 12 — with double-digit home runs.

Southern Miss — Southern Miss can rest easy after dropping back-to-back heartbreakers to Louisiana Tech in the C-USA tournament. Each loss was by a mere run, so let's not take anything away from the Golden Eagles, who are making their 17th appearance in the bracket. Another team with plenty of pop, Reed Trimble leads the way with 14 home runs. 

Stanford* — The Cardinal earned the No. 9 national seed and will host an NCAA regional for the 19th time. Stanford, making its 35th tournament appearance, is quite successful at Sunken Diamond in the postseason, racking up a 69-19 record in games played on its home turf. It's an interesting region this year, with Stanford having familiarity with UC Irvine, taking three of four from the Anteaters earlier this season. 

TCU* — The Big 12 champs are back in the tournament once again, the 15th time in the past 17 seasons, highlighted by a four-year run that ended in Omaha (2014-2017). The Horned Frogs are the No. 6 national seed hosting their eighth regional after becoming the first team since 2011 to win both the regular season and Big 12 tournament titles. 

Tennessee* — The Vols come in as the No. 3 national seed, hosting their first regional since 2005. Tony Vitello has done wonders recently, turning the Vols into a nightmare of a team for opposing coaches. Tennessee has one of the toughest first-round matchups against No. 4-seeded Wright State's offense. That's where Tennessee's pitching should come into play: the Vols put up a 3.44 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this season. 

Texas* — This is 60. The Longhorns are making their 60th tournament appearance and are hosting a regional for the 28th time in program history, which is well more than the next closest team (Stanford at 19). Texas is the first program to the 60 mark, with Florida State close behind at 58. This season, Texas reeled off 42 wins en route to the No. 2 national seed. Ty Madden (6-4, 2.66 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 103 strikeouts) leads one of the best pitching staffs in the nation.

Texas Tech* — The Red Raiders are heading back to the tournament for the fourth time in five seasons, this time as the No. 8 national seed. It is the fifth consecutive season that Texas Tech is hosting, the only team in the current field that can boast such a feat. Much like their 2019 run to the College World Series, the Red Raiders open against Army. That team was led by Josh Jung, while this one is led by his younger brother Jace who has become one of the most exciting players in college baseball.

UC Irvine — The Big West tournament winners are back in the tournament for the first time in seven years. And they come in with easily one of the most fun mascots in college baseball: the Anteaters. UC Irvine got to the bracket by locking up its first Big West tournament title since 2009. Michael Frias and Nick Pinto lead a sneakily good pitching staff. 

UCLA — The Bruins finished with 35 wins in the stacked Pac-12, which gets them to the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season. It is the 24th all-time appearance for UCLA as well, half of those coming under current head coach John Savage. JT Schwartz is an absolute monster at the plate, hitting .405 this season.

UC Santa Barbara — The Gauchos are becoming pretty much a lock for the bracket, now making their fifth appearance in the past eight seasons. They open against Oklahoma State — a team they've faced twice before, most recently in the 2016 College World Series. UCSB is one of the hottest teams in the land amid an eight-game winning streak in which its outscored its opponents by 56 runs. 

Vanderbilt* — The defending champs enter the tournament as the No. 4 national seed and are hosting a regional for the eighth time in program history. The Commodores open against the Blue Hose, a team that current skipper Tim Corbin once coached, for a nice little storyline. The 2019 national championship run was fueled by a big freshman breakout star in Kumar Rocker. This season, we may see the same from Jack Leiter. The only problem for opposing offenses? Rocker is still there. 

Virginia — The Cavaliers are back in the postseason, and this marks the 17th straight season that the ACC has been represented by at least six schools. The Hoos saw a 14-year run in the tournament end in 2017 — which included the 2015 national championship — and are looking to start the streak anew this year. Andrew Abbott has been a beast on the mound thus far.

VCU — A mere 16-14 on April 11, VCU caught fire and has yet to relent, winners of 21 games in a row, including the Atlantic 10 title game. It's the first NCAA postseason appearance since 2015 for VCU and riding the nation's longest winning streak is a good way to enter the tournament. Keep your eyes on Tyler Locklear, who's hitting .344 with 16 home runs this year.

Wright State — The Horizon champs have one of the most dangerous lineups in the tournament. The Raiders lead college baseball with a .342 average, 2.74 doubles per game, a .578 slugging percentage and .451 on-base percentage all adding up to the top scoring team in the division, averaging a whopping 10.6 runs per game.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 19-30, 2021
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

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