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NCAA Baseball Tournament: How Big 12 schools will fare

Predicting the results for each individual Big 12 program

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 had seven schools selected to participate in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, tied for second-most in the country. What’s more fascinating is the number of schools that made the tournament from the state of Texas: 10. That’s twice the number of California schools in the tournament. Seriously, if there’s a better state at baseball, I’d like to know what it is.

At any rate, let’s take a look at how far each of the Big 12 schools are going to advance.


Baylor is in a really, really tough group. The Bears are matched up with Texas A&M, which might be the toughest No. 3 seed in the bracket. Elsewhere in the group is Houston, which may have been generously seeded at No. 1, but is still a great ball club. No. 4 Iowa nearly won 40 games in an improving Big 10 conference, so they’re no easy task, either.

Baylor has a history with two of the teams in this group. The Bears took two of three games against Houston in Waco. They also beat Texas A&M by one run in that SEC/Big 12 challenge early in the season.

This is a tough team to predict. The Bears come into the tournament losers of their last four games, but winners of the previous seven. They’ve also had success against the two toughest teams in their group. I think A&M is just too talented and will deliver Baylor an opening-game loss it won’t manage to recover from.

Result: Regional exit


The thing about Oklahoma I can’t quite ignore is the 10-game stretch in April where the Sooners went 1-9 and gave up 14 or more runs three separate times. I know that was several weeks ago, but they’re also on a four-game losing streak right now, including two blowouts against Texas and TCU.

Fortunately, Oklahoma is in a relatively easy group. The Sooners start off with No. 3 Xavier, which I expect to be a win, and then they’ll certainly face No. 1 Louisville. Ultimately, they’ll probably have to play Louisville twice to advance to the Super Regionals. I believe they can steal one from the Cards, but not two.

Result: Regional exit

Oklahoma State

I don’t want to spend too much time on the Cowboys because they’re a team not meant to be in the postseason. They’re here because they eeked out one-run victories against West Virginia and Texas in the conference tournament and clinched an automatic berth in spite of their 30-25 record. Even if Oklahoma State gets by Missouri State and Oral Roberts (by the way, they lost to Oral Roberts, 11-7, two weeks ago) they have virtually no chance at beating No. 1 Arkansas twice.

Result: Regional exit


TCU is in an interesting group. The Frogs will get by Radford without any issues, but awaiting them will either be a very competent Virginia team or crosstown adversaries Dallas Baptist, which is always a tough game for TCU. They did beat DBU earlier on in the year, but the Patriots had an uncharacteristically bad regular season before heating up in the conference tournament.

Virginia will be the toughest opponent TCU faces in the regional. The Cavs went 42-14 and are only a couple years removed from a national championship. This is a tough break for TCU, especially after the news on star slugger Luken Baker not returning this season.

Despite the absence of Baker, the Frogs managed to win a few games in the Big 12 tournament before bowing out against Texas. The interesting part about TCU is its lack of dominance in any particular area. The Frogs finished in the bottom half of the conference in batting average and fourth in ERA. Jared Janczak (8-0, 1.99 ERA) is arguably the best pitcher in the conference, but outside of him, the TCU staff is just good, not great. Between the home field advantage and some solid pitching, I think the Frogs will make it out of the Regional, but fall to Arkansas in the Super Regional.

Result: Super Regional appearance


Texas is another team that started its winning streak at the right time. The Longhorns were a slightly-above average team all year, with excellent pitching and abysmal hitting. The good thing for the Horns is that good pitching usually edges out good hitting this time of year.

Texas opens up against UCLA, the Oklahoma State of the PAC-12. Morgan Cooper (or Nolan Kingham, whoever David Pierce goes with) should have no legitimate trouble shutting down the Bruins lineup. Whoever Peirce doesn’t use in the first game will likely lead Texas to a victory against No. 1 Long Beach State.

This is a favorable schedule for the Horns. If Texas can just get a little life into those bats, they should have little trouble getting out of this regional. From there, however, don’t expect the team to get past Stanford in the Super Regional, a team that spanked the Longhorns at the beginning of the season in a four-game series.

Result: Super Regional appearance

Texas Tech

I like this Red Raider team. There’s something different about it. The offense is explosive. The pitching staff is formidable. The team chemistry is abundant. All the pieces are there.

Arizona is the only genuine threat to eliminate Tech from advancing to the Super Regional. Not going to happen in Lubbock. Not with this team.

Then we have Florida State in the Super Regional. It’ll be in Lubbock. I like Tech’s chances, a lot. Florida State is good, but I think the ACC was overrated this year and Tech can expose that fact. The Big 12 was a bloodbath this year, and Tech was the reason behind the carnage. Martin. Gingery. Jung. Hargrove. Gardner. Farhat. This team is stacked, and that’s just a few of its contributors.

I can’t predict what’s going to happen in the College World Series. There’s too much talent, and baseball is enough of an unpredictable game as it is. But in terms of having the pieces in place to contend for a championship, I think Texas Tech is as adequately equipped as any other team in the nation.

Result: College World Series appearance

West Virginia

West Virginia is always an interesting team to monitor. The fallacy is that the Mountaineers are only good when they play in the comfort of their own stadium. They also drew a favorable matchup. West Virginia will play their regional in Winston Salem, NC, closer than all its other Big 12 counterparts, and will likely have a strong fan presence in the stands.

The No. 1 seed in the regional, Wake Forest, is not considered a blue-blood baseball program by any means. The Demon Deacons went 19-11 in conference play during a down year for the ACC. I feel like West Virginia’s rigorous schedule will have aided the Mountaineers and adequately prepared them for this exact situation. They will escape with a win against Maryland and take two of three against Wake Forest to advance to the Super Regionals before getting knocked out of the tournament by Florida.

Result: Super Regional appearance