It was a disappointing finish for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the ACC Tournament as they allowed North Carolina to pull away late, but you still figured the Irish would be a Top 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Going into that game, some even had the Irish as a top 8 team which would have meant hosting a super regional — something they got hosed out of last season.
What happened, however, was a typical NCAA screw job. Tim Prister has said it several times and he’s right... this team probably wasn’t worthy of a top 8 spot, but they absolutely should be a top 16 squad and hosting a regional pod. Instead, the Irish got another screw job.
Notre Dame will head to Statesboro, Georgia, as the #2 seed in the regional along with #1 (#16) Georgia Southern Eagles, #3 Texas Tech Raiders, and #4 UNC-Greensboro. The Irish will first face Texas Tech on Friday. The regional is a double-elimination format. Each of the 16 No. 1 seeds hosts its respective four-team regional, when possible. Each of the 16 regionals are seeded one through four. In each region, No. 1 faces No. 4, and No. 2 faces No. 3 on the first day of action. The winners of those two games then play each other, while the losers play an elimination game.
Not only were the Irish placed outside of the top 16, but they were placed in a regional where the winner will advance to a super regional against the #1 overall seed in the Tennessee Volunteers. Really awesome of you NCAA Committee to put the extra thrust in the ass this year.
While Notre Dame generally doesn’t normally get a ton of sympathy or support from outsiders due to the football program’s villain status, there were quite a few voices of concern that surfaced when the men’s lacrosse team got screwed — and it bubbled up in equal measure when fans learned of the baseball team’s fate this time around. Aaron Fitt with D1 Baseball had an eloquent way of saying the Irish got screwed.
Final thought on the Notre Dame snub: feels like committee gives Big Ten teams leeway because of weather, but somehow a private school (with rigorous academic restrictions that limit missed class time) based in South Bend in a warm-weather conference, doesn’t get the same leeway.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 30, 2022
Final thought on the Notre Dame snub: feels like committee gives Big Ten teams leeway because of weather, but somehow a private school (with rigorous academic restrictions that limit missed class time) based in South Bend in a warm-weather conference, doesn’t get the same leeway.
Notre Dame gets dinged for canceling games or for nonconference strength of schedule—most people in the South just don’t appreciate how hard it is to be a baseball team in freakin’ South Bend, when the season starts mid-February. Cancellations are inevitable. Scheduling is tough.
Irish have to spend the first five weeks of the season on the road, and they can’t leave for those trips until Thursday evening because they can’t miss the class time. And again, in a league filled with warm-weather powers, a team in South Bend went 18-12. And will not host.
Of course, last year still feels like an even bigger screw job. The Irish were rewarded a a regional host — but then had to take on the eventual College World Series Champion (Mississippi State Bulldogs) in Stark Vegas in the Super Regional. Notre Dame played MSU tough in a 3 game series, but couldn’t pull it out to get the trip to Omaha. Many felt that if the Irish were a Super Regional host last year, that ticket to the World Series would have been punched. It sucked.
While getting hosed out of hosting a regional spot this year also sucks, there is some consolation in seeing so many college baseball fans and media call out this atrocity. It’s another sign that Link Jarrett has Notre Dame Baseball back on the map, and is a legitimate power.
The only thing they can do now is take care of business in the regional (which won’t be easy and I think Texas Tech is a really good team right now) and see what shakes out in the Super Regional — which we should expect will be Tennessee after a dominating season in the SEC.