Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Hope you all are having a good, safe time with family and friends. It’s Monday, so that means another trip into my brain to see what Canes-related tidbits are floating around in there....
1) The Canes have been selected as the #2 seed in the Gainesville regional. They’re scheduled to face South Alabama, the third seed, on Friday. The Gators will face the fourth-seeded AAC tournament champion South Florida. Look, I don’t know much about South Alabama, and by much, I mean basically nothing. They won the Sun Belt Conference tournament and hold a 33-20 record, so this isn’t a team that has exactly wiped the floor with its competition this year. As far as first-game matchups go, I think Miami could’ve been dealt a much more difficult scenario, which I’ll explain later.
2. I told someone on twitter before the selection show that I was hoping that UM would be shipped to Greenville, NC or Columbia, SC. However, after seeing some of the draws, I actually like the Canes’ aforementioned bracket. Miami has already taken a series in Gainesville this season, as we all know. USF got hot late in the season, but still found a way to lose 27 games. South Alabama dropped 3 of its last 4 series entering its conference tournament, so they have been far from unbeatable, absent their 4 wins in the tourney.
3. In other words, they could’ve been dealt a much, much worse hand - kind of like Florida State’s. The Seminoles were handed a total shaft by the selection committee, earning a supposed 2 seed in the Oxford, MS regional. I say supposed 2 seed because they will play against a very good Southern Miss 3 seed. Also, despite their overall 12 seed, Ole Miss is good enough to have been a top 8 national seed, at least talent-wise. That’s going to be a very tough regional for the Noles to get through. So hey, at least by comparison, the Canes got a much more manageable region than the team that beat the absolute tar out of UM this year. Not sure how, but heck, I’ll take it.
4. It’ll be interesting to see what Miami does with its pitching on Friday and Saturday. Conventional wisdom might have it where you - as the higher seed - save your best starting pitching option for Saturday’s winner’s bracket game, and put your next-best option out for the Friday night opener. Miami’s hottest starter lately as been Jake Smith. The 6’4” right hander has allowed a total of 2 runs over his last 19.2 innings. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s “saved” for Saturday, and either Alejandro Rosario or Jake Garland get the nod on Friday night.
Regardless, it should be an interesting weekend in Gainesville. Go Canes!