Gators get top seed in NCAA baseball tournament
FSU joins defending national champs among nation's top 8 seeds; Miami stays home
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Gators are the No. 1 overall seed in the 2018 NCAA baseball tournament.
Florida (42-17) will attempt to claim a second consecutive national championship after beating LSU in last year's College World Series championship series.
The Gators were the top seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament, losing to LSU and Arkansas. They'll host Columbia (20-28) in the Gainesville regional. Florida Atlantic (40-17-1) and Jacksonville (39-19) are the other regional teams.
Columbia earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament by winning the Ivy League.
Joining the Gators among the top eight national seeds are No. 2 Stanford (44-10), No. 3 Oregon State (44-10-1), No. 4 Mississippi (46-15), No. 5 Arkansas (39-18), No. 6 North Carolina (38-18), No. 7 Florida State (43-17) and No. 8 Georgia (37-19).
The Seminoles won back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles for the first time in school history, defeating Louisville 11-8 in 10 innings Sunday. It was FSU's third ACC championship in four years.
FSU has been to the College World Series 16 times under longtime head coach Mike Martin, who recently claimed the all-time wins record in college baseball history, but the Seminoles have yet to win it all.
The Seminoles, making their 41st straight NCAA tournament appearance, will face Samford (36-24) in the Tallahassee regional. Oklahoma (36-23) and Mississippi State (31-25) will also travel to Tallahassee.
Samford is 7-1 in its last eight games, including a 4-0 record in the Southern Conference tournament.
Meanwhile, Miami (28-25) missed out on an NCAA tournament berth for the second consecutive season. The Hurricanes participated in an NCAA-record 44 straight postseason appearances between 1973-2016.
It's an anticlimactic ending for head coach Jim Morris, who is retiring after 25 years. Assistant coach Gino DiMare will take over in 2019.
Stetson (45-11) will host South Florida in the DeLand regional. The Hatters, who will face Hartford in the first game of the regional, are 29-3 at home. South Florida (35-20-1) and Oklahoma State (29-24-1) round out the regional.
By virtue of their seeds, Florida and FSU will have home-field advantage in the regionals and super regionals on the path to Omaha, Nebraska.
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