LSU goes to the Super Regionals
We have March Madness in basketball and over the past few years have created a playoff in football. The arrival of June brings us the other tournament of the big three sports – the NCAA regionals. The tournament takes no prisoners and leaves a lot of good teams in its dust as only the strong survive to advance to the Super Regionals. Here is what we’ve seen during the first weekend of action.
The LSU Tigers were lucky enough to be considered in the top 16 of the tournament, thus, hosting the Baton Rouge regional at Alex Box stadium. Few teams enjoy home field advantage like the LSU Tigers as 10,000 plus of the purple and gold faithful fill the stadium.
The team seemed to feed off of that energy as the Tigers rolled to a perfect 3-0 weekend, winning the regional. Along the way, LSU got a bit of revenge in a 17-3 shellacking of Stony Brook and then won two games versus a tough Southern Miss squad. Veterans Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis came up big in the 7th inning of the final game to lead the Tigers to the Super Regionals.
The Tigers will face the Florida State Seminoles in the Super Regionals. Florida State has a bit of magic on their side as their coach, Mike Martin, is in his last campaign as skipper of the club. The Seminoles also have one of the best stories of the tournament in Tim Becker. This kid, now a senior, made the club by walking on and has watched his role become bigger throughout the year. The kid has hit the ball well but had not hit with power until this weekend. Becker hit his first home run of the year versus Florida Atlantic, then hit another one versus Florida Atlantic, then sent another one over the wall the next day versus the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s basically a cheesy sports movie comes to life.
So, like I said, Florida State definitely has some positive mojo on their side and LSU might be hard pressed to take two out of three against the Seminoles. With that said, at least LSU has the opportunity as many far better teams saw their seasons go up in smoke in the regionals.
Review is Awful
It sounds like a good thing, right? The umps can utilize review to make sure the calls are correct thus insuring the blah blah blah. Review is awful, y’all.
Baseball is a game of inches and sometimes those inches have to be interpreted by human beings called umpires. Those umpires make a call – sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong. Games have been decided like this for over a century. Yet, now we have the ability to watch replays and change calls. Again, it all makes sense in theory. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is a detriment to the game.
First, adopting replay doesn’t insure anything. Any football fan with two eyes can tell you that having technology at your fingertips guarantees nothing. Second, and more importantly, the replay in baseball absolutely destroys the rhythm of the game. Football, in all of its speed and chaos is able to recover from these stoppages but baseball does not. Worse still was on display in the Georgia Tech versus Coastal Carolina game where a fan yelled balk causing the pitcher to, well, balk. Confusion was next and the umps left the field to review what happened on replay and, after it was all said and done, the crowd and teams stood around for 10 minutes before a decision was made. It was an absolute joke. Just make the call and let’s move on. Baseball is slow enough as is and does not need anything to increase the length of the games played. Plus, an ump is paid to make calls and, yes, they mess up sometimes but that just adds some much-needed spice to the sport.
Off the Field
Coaching changes occur at the end of seasons and, being that Tulane’s season is over (they’ve missed the regionals three years in a row) rumors rumbled to the surface that Coach Travis Jewett was a front runner for the head coaching job at Washington State. Then, almost just as quickly, he wasn’t and it was reported that he would be returning for his fourth year with the Green Wave.
There are many questions surrounding what’s going on with the once-solid program but the only one I’ll pose today is what the hell is Athletic Director Troy Dannen thinking? This is all just conjecture by yours truly but, if Jewett is out talking to other schools – inferior schools at that – about their coaching positions then he should not be coaching for Tulane. He hasn’t even had any success at Tulane yet but Dannen is bringing him back after he’s been considering leaving the school?
Again, I don’t know anything about what’s happening behind closed doors but the fans deserve to hear from Dannen, right now, about what’s going on with the now-flailing program.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Urban South Brewery’s “Paradise Park” American Lager
Playlist Recommendation: The Lemonheads – “Into Your Arms”
Around the Way
Congratulations to the Southern University Jaguars on their trip to the NCAA regionals. They almost pulled off a massive upset before falling to Mississippi State and then were knocked out of the tournament by the University of Miami but it was a great year and the future is bright for the Jags.