Well, thanks for making me look bad, LSU. After I spent an entire morning last week writing an article on how unbeatable they looked, the Tigers are headed home without winning a single game in Omaha.
No. 4 LSU lost its elimination game with No. 1 North Carolina, 4-2, on Tuesday, ending their season and becoming the latest in a string of national seeds to make an early exit from the tournament. Six of the original eight teams are gone, with only the Tar Heels and Oregon State, both of whom have lost once in the College World Series, remaining.
Tuesday also saw UCLA advance past N.C. State to move into the winners' bracket, dropping the Wolfpack down to face elimination against UNC.
After a regional round in which only No. 8 Oregon was felled and only two non-host teams advanced at all, it looked as though the 2013 tournament was unfolding according to plan. Then all hell broke lose, as the national seeds went 3-4 in the super regionals, with Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Vanderbilt and Virginia all biting the dust. Oregon State and North Carolina had their troubles as well, losing a game each before taking decisive Game 3s to scratch their way into Omaha.
The College World Series itself has been no kinder to the top seeds than the rest of the tournament as all three teams lost their opening games. Oregon State came up just short in its comeback bid of Mississippi State last Saturday, then the Tigers and Tar Heels dropped back-to-back games Sunday to UCLA and N.C. State, respectively, to set up a surprise elimination game between the two tournament favorites.
After looking so dominant against Oklahoma in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, LSU went out with a whimper in the final round, ending a season that looked destined for a national championship for much of the year. After ranking in the top two of nearly every meaningful offensive category in the SEC, they could never get the bats going in Omaha, scoring just six runs in their two games. Sluggers Alex Bregman and Raph Rhymes, catalysts at the plate all season, combined to go 0-for-17.
It's a good thing I'm not in any money pools, because my bracket is completely shot. As if my sports ego didn't take a big enough hit during March Madness, I have only one team in the remaining field of six, and both of my championship game picks are gone (LSU and Vanderbilt). The only way your bracket is fairing much better is if you didn't fill one out in the first place.
If you'd like to see what the actual, non-decimated bracket looks like, take a visit to NCAA.com.
Eliminated: Louisville, No. 4 LSU
One loss: Indiana, N.C. State, No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Oregon State
Undefeated: Mississippi State, UCLA