The NCAA announced the sixteen hosts for the first round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament, beginning next week, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are one of the teams. There are eight national seeds, who are guaranteed to host not only this week but also in the Super Regionals if they advance. Wake likely will not receive one of these national seeds, but instead will be one of the remaining eight unseeded teams.
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is a four-team, double-elimination bracket where the top team faces the fourth seed in the bracket, and the second seed squares off with the third seed in the first game. The winners of those two games play and the losers play where the loser of that second game is eliminated. The region continues until three of the four teams have suffered two losses while the winner advances to the Super Regionals - a best of three series hosted by one of the sixteen remaining schools who advanced.
While Wake is not guaranteed to host a Super Regional matchup if they advance from the subregional, they would still host if the national seed they are paired up with fails to advance from their own region. Generally one or two of the top eight fail to advance to the next round, meaning Wake does have a chance on that front.
The entire field will be announced at noon tomorrow (May 29) on ESPN2. While the NCAA does not put the top emphasis on pairing regional schools, it has traditionally played a part in pairing the field. My best guess is that Wake’s first game will be either against UNCG (Southern Conference champion) or Radford (Big South champion). Wake went 3-0 in matchups with these two teams in the regular season, outscoring the two teams a combined 42-17. Similarly, it would not be surprising to see a team like West Virginia or South Carolina as a two or three seed in the Winston-Salem region. Another team that could pop up is there is Connecticut. Really though your guess is as good as mine.
Tune in tomorrow and see but congratulations to Tom Walter and this squad who have exceeded all expectations this season. They are undoubtedly hungry for more and will kick off their quest for the College World Series on Friday. We will have more coverage and details of the Diamond Deacs and NCAA Tournament as a whole as it become available.