Compilation: Final baseball postseason projections
Updated 1:35 p.m. We've added results for each of the brackets below, so you can judge how accurate each prediction was.
The full NCAA baseball tournament field of 64 will be announced today at noon on ESPNU. As the selection committee readies their final choices, we take a look at a variety of bracket projections--all of which have the Tar Heels as a national seed. The official NCAA RPI hasn't been updated yet, but the reliable Boyd's World numbers have been adjusted as of this morning, and Carolina is fifth. All numbers in parentheses below are the Boyd's RPI rankings.
As a reminder, the NCAA baseball tournament is set up with 16 four-team regionals in the first weekend. Carolina has already been announced as a host for that round. The winners of those regionals advance to the eight two-team super-regionals next weekend, which are best two-of-three series played at campus sites. The committee will also announce the eight national seeds today. If those eight seeds win their regionals, they would likely host the super-regionals next weekend.The winners of the super-regionals move on to the eight-team College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
By the way, check back after the field is announced, because later today, we'll evaluate which bracketologists gave the most accurate predictions.
Baseball America: This time, the college experts at BA put together a full bracket. Carolina is the third national seed, with an intriguing regional that includes SEC foe Mississippi (26), College of Charleston (43) and Army (115). The winner of the Chapel Hill regional is paired with the winner of the Tucson regional in the supers.
Post-bracket results: 8 of 8 national seeds, 3 of 8 potential super-regional matchups, 33 of 34 at-large picks correct (had Wake Forest in instead of Michigan State).
SEBaseball.com: Credit to this group for updating their projections daily during the conference tournaments. Their final bracket has the Tar Heels as the fifth national seed, with a regional featuring Oregon State (27), Appalachian State (40) and Austin Peay (123). The Chapel Hill regional winner would face the Tucson regional winner in the supers.
Post-bracket results: 8 of 8 national seeds, 4 of 8 potential super-regional matchups, 33 of 34 at-large picks correct (had Texas in instead of College of Charleston).
Perfect Game: Chalk up another projection with Carolina as a top-four national seed. PG slots the Heels as the fourth national seed, hosting a regional that includes Coastal Carolina (39), Ole Miss and Belmont (63). As you can tell by the RPI numbers, Belmont is a better-than-average fourth seed that might be tricky for the team that lands them in their regional. The winner of the Chapel Hill regional faces the winner of the Tucson regional (detect a pattern?) in the supers.
Post-bracket results: 8 of 8 national seeds, 3 of 8 potential super-regional matchups, 31 of 34 at-large picks correct.
College Baseball Nation: The Tar Heels are the seventh national seed, starting tournament play in Chapel Hill with a regional including App. State, UNC-Wilmington (41) and Manhattan (139). The Chapel Hill regional champ faces the winner of the Palo Alto regional in the super-regionals. Carolina defeated the Cardinal--considered on the fringe of a national seed this year--in the 2011 supers at Boshamer Stadium.
Post-bracket results: 8 of 8 national seeds, 2 of 8 potential super-regional matchups, 32 of 34 at-large picks correct.
ESPN: The Tar Heels get the sixth national seed, with a regional featuring Coastal, UNC-Wilmington, and a Stony Brook (87) team that could be one of those four-seed spoilers that pop up every year. But the real attraction here is the supers, where the winner of the Chapel Hill regional gets the winner of the...Columbia regional. No trouble selling tickets for that one.
Post-bracket results: 7 of 8 national seeds, 1 of 8 potential super-regional matchups, 33 of 34 at-large picks correct (had SE Louisiana in over College of Charleston).