The College World Series is set to begin, with eight teams vying for a coveted national championship.
For those that are attending in Omaha, or planning to watch the events unfold for the next ten days, here’s a primer for all eight teams remaining.
In front of a crowd full of the Louisville faithful with a berth in the ACC semifinals against Duke on the line, the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals could not get over the hump and were defeated by the Florida State Seminoles, 6-2. The Cards faced an early deficit due to shaky pitching and some slight defensive miscues, and could not string together the necessary hits to generate runs for the comeback.
In a game that didn’t have much at stake for either team, the No.1 overall seed Louisville Cardinals defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 10-3 in the Cards’ first game of pool play. Although the Cards managed to come away victorious, it didn’t really mean much in terms of advancing past pool play and onto the semifinals. This was because 12-seed Notre Dame’s loss to 8-seed Florida State the day before had not only mathematically eliminated Notre Dame, but had turned Friday’s Louisville/Florida State game into a de facto survive-and-advance game no matter the outcome of the Louisville/Notre Dame game.
Following the cancellation of the regular season finale against Florida State due to weather, the Louisville Cardinals finish the regular season with a mark of 46-9. This also puts the Cards atop the ACC standings, with second place North Carolina finishing 0.5 games behind. This awards the Louisville Cardinals the ACC regular season title, their second title in three years in the ACC.
Riding on their second-longest win streak of the season with the ACC regular season title on the line, the Cardinal Nine did not have the smoothest of finishes to the season, as they would go 0-3 against the Indiana Hoosiers and Florida State Seminoles. Game 3 against the Seminoles would be cancelled due to rain, with no plans to reschedule. However, an ACC loss by UNC to the hands of the Duke Blue Devils would make up for the bumpy week, as that would help the Cardinals clinch the ACC regular season title, as well as the number 1 seed in the ACC Baseball Tournament.
Last Time: After Louisville held a 7-6 halftime lead, Florida State responded with 35 second-half points to overpower Louisville in a 41-21 win in Tallahassee. Everett Golson led the way with 372 yards and three touchdowns, while Dalvin Cook ended up with 163 yards and two touchdowns. Lamar Jackson led the way for Louisville with a season-high 307 yards and three touchdowns, all to James Quick.
Florida State leads the overall series 14-2, with Louisville’s last win in 2002.
About the Florida State Seminoles
One of the top programs in college football, Florida State has been at or near the top of the ACC for what seems like forever.
Now 2-0 and ranked #2 in the country behind Alabama, Florida State was tabbed as one of the preseason favorites to win the ACC, and potentially adding another national championship. As usual with Florida State, this team has a lot of impressive talent and great speed on both sides of the ball. Deondre Francois inherits the starting quarterback position after Everett Golson graduated last season. Francois’s main criticism was that he was not accurate enough in high school, but he showed a lot of poise and accuracy after throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns against a strong Ole Miss pass rush. But while it is one thing to start your first two games on a neutral field and at home, it’s another to go on your first true road game in a situation like tomorrow’s. Luckily for Francois, he will have a bevy of talented skill players around him, including Heisman candidate Dalvin Cook and a trio of superb receivers.
Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, and this is possibly the biggest week for Louisville baseball all season.
Last weekend was very tumultuous for the Cardinals team. After having the game at Kentucky postponed due to rain, they immediately traveled to Tallahassee to face Florida State. The Cardinals lost the series (7-12 Fri., 7-1 Sat., 5-16 Sun.), making it their second series defeat in the ACC this season. The Cardinals did not lose any series against ACC opponents last season, and the Cardinals dropped to 3-6 against Top 25 opponents on the road in 2016. The Cardinals returned home yesterday and thumped Western Kentucky 14-2, improving to a 20-1 record at home.
Welcome back to Around the Bases, which has not been rained out today.
Last weekend was business as usual for Louisville, as the Cardinals swept the Hokies. With wins of 8-4 (Fri.), 13-0 (Sat.) and 9-3 (Sun.), the Cardinals have a six-game winning streak heading into another big weekend at Florida State. Florida State currently holds a two-game lead over Louisville in the ACC Atlantic Division, and a series win could be big in clinching back-to-back division titles for the Cardinals.
Well if you are still reading this after that headline, thank you. All four of you are appreciated! The Louisville Cardinals dismantled Florida State on Wednesday night by a final score of 84-65, and that is with the ‘Noles finishing the game on a 10-0 run against the Louisville reserves. This was a 25-30 point game for a lot of the second half. The Cards dominated this one from start to finish and now find themselves in 2nd place in the ACC.
Offense and defense clicking
Louisville (14-3, 3-1) returns to action on Wednesday night when Florida State (12-5, 2-3) comes to town, and while that may not get the needle moving in basketball like it would football, the Seminoles are not a team to overlook. Here are some notes about each team to prepare you for the next ACC game for the Cards…
PITINO: Well, I’ll tell you basically what I tell the team is basically buckle your seat belts because it’s gonna be one helluva ride in the ACC. It reminds me so much of the Big East in its prime in terms of, you know, you see it going one way, then all of a sudden you see now you have Virginia and Clemson near the top, you see Georgia Tech playing real well. Syracuse looks like they’re out of it, now they get hot. Duke loses three, Virginia loses three and then suddenly the thing’s upside down, and then it will turn back. It will be a roller coaster ride that will drive fans and coaches crazy, but it will be a lot of fun playing this type of competition, needless to say.
Q: Is it even more unpredictable than you thought going in?
Andrea Adelson published her way-too-early 2016 ACC football rankings on ESPN.com. To no surprise, Clemson and Florida State still top the list, with Louisville right behind them. The Cards return a lot of talent and should be good, but we can’t act like those two teams are suddenly going to fall off. 2016 should be a fun year for sure. Here is what she had to say about the top 3 teams.
Todd Grantham and Sheldon Rankins spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday. They talk about the Florida State game and look ahead to Boston College.
Bobby Petrino and Reggie Bonnafon met with the media on Monday to talk about the loss to Florida State and also preview this Saturday’s game against Boston College. The transcript for Petrino is below the videos. The Cards face Boston College at 12:30 this Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
If you have any desire to, you can watch the Louisville-FSU game in only an hour. Florida State still wins.
There is never a bad time to watch this. This is one of those games where you remember where you were when you watched this game. HENRY MILLER!