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Around the Big 12 in Baseball: Well, Now, How About That

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A wild Big 12 Tournament led to some very interesting bids to the NCAA field.

TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Melissa Triebwasser

The first thing you have to remember about selection committees is that selection committees are actually good and not bad.

The Big 12 Baseball Tournament was last week, and we’ll delve into that shortly, but all you need to know is that the NCAA selection committee saw fit to give TCU a bid to the national tournament, which could be considered a head-scratcher to anyone not currently wearing a purple and white shirt.

People are telling me that BYU fans are unhappy that TCU got in over the Cougars. I’ll point them in the direction of my friend Tommy Lee Jones for comment.

Thank you, Tommy Lee.

TEAMS WITH BIDS

Texas Tech: The lone Big 12 Super Regional host. Texas Tech lost to West Virginia in the conference semifinal, but the Red Raiders have some of the best wins of any team in the country and are a rising blue blood — it’s understandable why Tech will host a Super.

The Lubbock Regional will consist of Tech, Army, Dallas Baptist and Florida, which is an absolutely brutal regional. If Tech can make it out of that, the Red Raiders will host the winner of the Oklahoma City Regional. Speaking of....

Oklahoma State: Won the Big 12 Tournament, beating West Virginia 5-2 in the title game. The Cowboys dropped only one game all weekend, and that was the 13-6 loss to TCU that arguably gave the Frogs enough momentum to earn an NCAA bid.

Oklahoma State just missed out on a Super Regional site — they’re the No. 9 overall seed. The Cowboys will welcome UConn, Nebraska and Harvard to their Regional, which will take place at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, the same site as the Big 12 Tournament.

Personally, I think this is a bit unfair to OSU. I believe the Cowboys are a better team than Texas Tech at this moment, but Tech swept the season series, and I guess the committee valued head-to-head more than momentum. And remember — as we have discussed, the committee is good and infallible.

West Virginia: Dropped the Big 12 Tournament championship game to Oklahoma State, but had to play Texas Tech three times to get there. The Mountaineers took two of those games, including a 2-0 win on Saturday to make the title game.

West Virginia earned a Regional, which means that Texas A&M, Duke and Fordham will have to schlep over to Morgantown for a weekend. It will be very entertaining to watch Texas A&M fans try to do their “Ball Five!” chant amid West Virginia fans. I would watch a video stream of the crowd fights stemming from this game.

The winner of the Morgantown Regional will play the winner of the Vanderbilt/Nashville Regional.

Baylor: The Bears led the Big 12 for a significant portion of the season. But after beating Oklahoma 8-2 in the first game of the conference tournament, Baylor suffered quick losses to Oklahoma State and TCU and were bounced early.

Now the Bears are being shipped off to Los Angeles, where they’ll play overall No. 1 UCLA, along with Loyola Marymount and Omaha. The winner of that regional plays the winner of the Oregon State/Corvallis Regional. It’s a tough ask for a Baylor team that may have caught fire in the wrong part of the season.

TCU: Don’t ask questions, don’t try to justify it, just enjoy it.

The Frogs needed all the grit and heart in the world last week at the Big 12 Tournament just to make the semifinals, but I didn’t think the NCAA committee had measurements for that type of stuff. Turns out they do, and turns out TCU was the very last team in to the field of 64.

The Frogs will play in the Fayetteville Regional against No. 5 Arkansas, Central Connecticut State and California. The winner of that regional will play the winner of the Oxford/Ole Miss Regional.

TEAMS WITHOUT BIDS

Oklahoma: Rolled over and played dead in the Big 12 Tournament, losing 8-2 to Baylor and 15-3 (in seven innings!) to TCU. The Sooners might have had an outside chance at a tournament bid if they had played well last week. They did the exact opposite.

OU will finish the season with a record of 33-23, but a Big 12 record of 11-13 is what doomed the Sooners.

Kansas State: Played one of the most wild games of the Big 12 Tournament, a 15-14 loss to Kansas in 11 innings on Thursday that eliminated the Wildcats.

KSU was 25-33 this season and 8-16 in conference play, which, yeah, that’s not going to get it done.

Kansas: The Jayhawks had so much momentum after that wild win over Kansas State that they, uh, lost their next game 7-5 to Tech and were eliminated.

But Kansas fans should be heartened by their team this year. The Jayhawks were 32-26 and 12-12 in the Big 12. If the program can keep this momentum going, KU should be ready for a national bid in 2020.

Texas: Did not earn a national bid. Did not earn a Big 12 Tournament bid, either.