Iowa was left in the bullpen when the NCAA baseball tournament selections were announced earlier this week – and it wasn’t even the Big Ten’s biggest snub.
Rutgers (44-15), which entered the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed and lost to Michigan (32-26) in the championship game, was not among the field of 64. The Wolverines earned the conference’s automatic bid with the tourney win and only top-seeded Maryland joined them in moving on.
In his postgame comments Sunday, Hawkeyes coach Rick Heller broke down his team’s resume, saying not being picked would be “a travesty.”
After the selections were announced, the official Iowa Baseball account expressed its frustration on Twitter:
“We knew the bubble was tight, but it still isn’t right. This was an NCAA Regional worthy team.”
The 64-team tournament opens Friday in 16 regionals. Winners advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners go to the College World Series.
Tennessee (53-7) is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament after finishing one of the most dominant runs in Southeastern Conference history.
The Volunteers won 31 of their first 32 games, swept the SEC regular-season and tournament titles and have the best pitching and batting statistics in the nation.
They’ve been the consensus No. 1 team in the polls all but one week since March 28 and enter regionals having won eight straight.
The other national seeds after the Vols: Stanford (41-14), Oregon State (44-15), Virginia Tech (41-12), Texas A&M (37-18), Miami (39-18), Oklahoma State (39-20) and East Carolina (42-18).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.