May 21, 2001
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
Cal State-Fullerton brought home a College World Series title the last time it was in this position.
The Titans were selected Monday as the top seed for the 64-team Division I college baseball tournament. Cal State-Fullerton (41-15) beat Southern California 11-5 for the national championship as the tournament's No. 1 seed in 1995.
"In selecting the No. 1 seeds, we had 18 teams on the board to choose from," said Wally Groff, chairman of the Division I baseball committee. "We discussed the merits of all the teams and put in secret ballots to choose the top seeds."
Groff said Cal State-Fullerton's 27-11 non-conference record was the best in the country in terms of winning percentage.
The Titans will play host to Temple, making its first tournament appearance since 1984, on Friday in the first round of the double-elimination tournament that leads to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Texas Tech and Arizona State also will play in the regional at Cal State-Fullerton, where the Titans were 22-9 this season.
The other seeded teams are Miami (44-12), Southern California (39-17), Stanford (42-14), Tulane (50-10), Georgia (41-18), East Carolina (44-11) and Nebraska (45-14).
Groff said the committee spent 12 hours Sunday at the NCAA's headquarters in Indianapolis determining the field.
"It seems like it gets tougher every year," said Groff, the athletic director at Texas A&M. "It was a challenge for us. We do our best to get the best teams in the tournament, and we can all leave Indianapolis knowing we did."
In addition to Cal State-Fullerton, regional hosts include Clemson, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Louisiana State, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rice, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee and Tulane.
The Southeastern Conference had a tournament-record eight representatives with defending champion Louisiana State, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Next with five teams was the Big 12, with Nebraska, looking to make its first trip to the College World Series, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.
"The committee has no limits on the number of teams we can take from a conference," Groff said. "We just want to get the best teams in there."
Groff said the committee based its decisions on a number of factors, including teams' records, strength of schedule, quality wins and power rankings.
Miami is making its 29th straight tournament appearance to extend its NCAA record, and Florida State is in it for the 24th consecutive year.
Louisiana-Lafayette (28-28) and San Jose State (37-22-1), who both played in the College World Series last year, were not among this year's 64 teams. Other teams of note that were left out included Eastern Illinois, which was 35-20 but 19-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference, Wichita State (42-24), which last failed to make the tournament in 1986, and Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion Southwest Missouri State (36-22).
Houston (29-28) and South Florida (32-29) received at-large berths despite having records close to .500.
"They had strong non-conference schedules and high-quality wins," Groff said. "Houston had one of the toughest schedules in the country and had wins over Texas Tech, Texas, Rice and Tulane this season."
There are no teams making their first tournament appearances, and 25 of the 64 played in it last year.
Northern Iowa (34-26), winner of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, is in the tournament for the first time since 1961, when it was called Iowa Teachers College. William & Mary (35-18) won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament for its first appearance since 1983.
Bethune-Cookman (26-32), Temple (27-29) and Princeton (22-23) won their conferences to receive automatic bids despite losing records.
The winners of each regional will advance to the super regionals at eight sites to be determined. The eight winners of the super regionals, which begin June 1, will play in the College World Series, which starts June 8.
At Fullerton, Calif.
FRIDAY, MAY 25
Game 2 - Arizona State (36-18-1) vs. Texas Tech (40-18-1), 3 p.m.
Game 1 - Cal State Fullerton (41-15) vs. Temple (27-29), 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 26
Game 3 - Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 4 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY, MAY 27
Game 6 - Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 7 - Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, following Game 6, if necessary