In the bottom right-hand corner of the bracket is the No. 3 National Seed Louisville Cardinals.
Louisville will have an interesting matchup the first day, going up against the nation’s top offense in Morehead State. The Eagles lead the country in average, runs, doubles and slugging, and are second in on-base percentage.
This makes it imperative for Louisville starter Kyle Funkhowser to have a good outing to keep the Cardinals in the winners bracket.
The two and three-seeds of Bradley and Michigan in this region are a bit underwhelming. The Braves were just 10-11 in a Missouri Valley dominated by Missouri State and Dallas Baptist, while Michigan squeaked into the tournament thanks to a run in the Big Ten Tournament.
There are some bad two-seeds in this year’s tournament, and Bradley is certainly one of them. Not only did they finish below .500 in their conference, but a .256 batting average and a 4.3 ERA just aren’t going to get it done when you’re trying to move on in the postseason.
Michigan, on the other hand, could take the momentum gained from their weekend at Target Field last week, or they could just fall flat on their face, as Big Ten teams usually do. Michigan is the second-best offense in this region, hitting at a .297 clip throughout 2015. Nowhere near Morehead State’s .335, but still good enough to be more of an offensive threat than Louisville.
Given that Louisville doesn’t allow Morehead State to swat the ball around the park on Friday, the Cardinals should advance to the Super Regional round without any other problems. The wild card though is how the Eagles offense looks against real competition. This is a team that hasn’t played any real competition since the first weekend of the year (won three-of-four at San Diego), so I don’t think anyone knows what they’re going to look like.
I like Louisville to get out and host the winner of the Fullerton Regional next weekend.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports