Florida’s regional opponents announced, Gators will open against USF

·2 min read

The NCAA announced the full seeding and structure for the baseball postseason tournament on Monday, and for the first time since 2018, the Gators will host a regional. Florida is the No. 15 national seed, and No. 2-seed Miami, No. 3-seed South Alabama and No. 4-seed South Florida will come to town next weekend.

This is the 17th time in program history that UF has hosted a regional, and the 10th time under coach Kevin O’Sullivan. It’s the 36th all-time NCAA regional appearance for the Gators.

As the top seed in the Gainesville Regional, Florida will open against fourth-seeded USF on Friday at noon. After a 28-27 finish to the regular season, the Bulls went 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, capturing the title and an automatic NCAA Tournament bid with an 8-7 win over rival UCF on Sunday. The two teams didn’t face during the regular season.

If the Gators were to win that game, they would likely draw a difficult matchup in the second round against Miami. The Hurricanes took two of three to upset preseason No. 1 Florida in the first series of the season, and that propelled them high up the rankings earlier in the season. They’ve sputtered a bit since then, finishing 32-19 and exiting the ACC Tournament after back-to-back losses to Duke and Florida State.

Though UF would certainly like another crack at UM, it could also face South Alabama in the second round. Another conference champion, the Jaguars went 33-20 and secured the Sun Belt Championship with a 4-0 performance this week.

As the No. 15 overall seed (a placement that comes as a bit of a surprise given the team’s run to the SEC semifinals), Florida would have a very challenging matchup in the super regionals if it survived at home next weekend. In all likelihood, it would have to travel to Austin, Texas, to take on the Longhorns, the No. 2-overall national seed.

Eight other SEC teams made the NCAA Tournament field, and five of them (No. 1 Arkansas, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 11 South Carolina) are national seeds.

This is far from an ideal postseason draw for Florida, especially with the way it ended the season. But at times earlier in the year, this looked like a fringe tournament team. To finish strong and lock up a national seed is quite an achievement for O’Sullivan and his squad.

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