2024 NCAA baseball Super Regionals set: What are the most intriguing matchups?

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By Daniel Shirley, Mitch Light and Mitch Sherman

The 2024 NCAA baseball Super Regional field is set following four winner-take-all games on Monday.

Seven of the top eight national seeds advanced, headlined by top-ranked Tennessee, which coasted through the Knoxville Regional with three wins by a combined score of 33-12.

Arkansas, the No. 5 overall seed, is the only top-eight seed that failed to win a Regional. Hagen Smith, the Razorbacks’ All-America left-hander, allowed a season-high six earned runs in a 7-6 loss to Kansas State on Saturday night. Arkansas was eliminated by SE Missouri, the No. 4 seed, on Sunday afternoon.

Here are the matchups in the Super Regionals:

  • No. 1 Tennessee vs. Evansville (Knoxville)
  • No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Oregon State (Lexington)
  • No. 3 Texas A&M vs. Oregon (Bryan-College Station)
  • No. 4 North Carolina vs. West Virginia (Chapel Hill)
  • No. 12 Virginia vs. Kansas State (Charlottesville)
  • No. 6 Clemson vs. Florida (Clemson)
  • No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 10 NC State (Athens)
  • No. 8 Florida State vs. UConn (Tallahassee)

Most intriguing matchups

NC State at Georgia

I’m going to stick in the state I live in with this one, and that’s not the only reason why I picked Georgia hosting NC State. The Bulldogs’ turnaround this season in their first year under Wes Johnson has been remarkable. Almost as remarkable as the career of slugger Charlie Condon, a former walk-on and redshirt who is on the path to being a top-five pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. Condon has a .445 average with 36 HRs and 77 RBIs

Georgia got some help from rival Georgia Tech in the Regional (one hint: take a clear ball four, Yellow Jackets), but the Bulldogs have found ways to win games all season. Can that continue against the talented Wolfpack? NC State has a slugger of its own in Alec Makarewicz, who has 20 HRs 76 RBIs and a .379 batting average. — Shirley

Florida at Clemson

If you saw the video of Erik Bakich celebrating Clemson’s Regional-clinching win over Coastal Carolina, you know how much this means to the program and its second-year coach. The Tigers had dealt with more than a decade of postseason frustration, losing five times as a Regional host dating back to the 2011 season. Now, Clemson is back in a Super Regional for the first time since 2010, which was the last time it reached the College World Series.

The Tigers will take on a very talented Florida team that snuck into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed after an inconsistent regular season. The Gators played their way out of the losers’ bracket of the Stillwater Regional and beat host Oklahoma State on Sunday night and Monday afternoon to advance to the Supers for the 10th time in 16 full seasons under Kevin O’Sullivan.

Clemson should be considered the favorite — especially playing at raucous Doug Kingsmore Stadium — but there aren’t too many teams nationally with more talent than Florida. — Light

West Virginia at North Carolina

Of all the underdog stories in the Super Regionals, West Virginia flies perhaps the deepest under the radar. The Mountaineers finished fourth in the Big 12 behind traditional powers Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State. The same can be said of Kansas State. But who was talking about Randy Mazey’s WVU club before it rolled off three wins as the No. 3 seed at the Tucson Regional with a rested pitching staff after Mazey, who is retiring after the season, sat left-handers Derek Clark and Tyler Switalski in the Big 12 tournament?

West Virginia beat Grand Canyon 10-6 to win its first Regional as Clark came out of the bullpen to get the final two outs. WVU seeks, of course, a first trip to the College World Series. In the way stands North Carolina, which pulled off dramatics at home on Monday night, scoring in the ninth and 10th innings to eliminate reigning national champ LSU.

UNC, the No. 4 overall seed, has made 11 trips to the CWS — but none since 2018 ahead of hosting West Virginia in Chapel Hill. — Sherman

Required reading

(Photo of Charlie Condon: Joshua L. Jones / USA Today)

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