What should postseason expectations be for UCF baseball?
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 16:05
What will most likely happen is that UCF will travel to Gainesville for regionals. Facing the Gators might be a tough challenge for the Knights, but the road to Omaha is not going to be easy. It will be an uphill battle, regardless of location.
Despite a disappointing ending to what was a thrilling, record-breaking season for Terry Rooney’s baseball team, expectations are still high for the Knights headed into the postseason.
UCF shouldn’t have any problems breezing through Pod Two — its side of the bracket — en route to “Championship Sunday.” The Knights went a combined 7-2 against their first three opponents (UAB, East Carolina and Tulane), and you shouldn’t expect them to trip up against these teams the second time around.
If UCF makes it through its pod, the first real challenge would be against presumed Pod One winner Rice. There’s no reason to think the Owls would be any more favored to beat the Knights than they were last week.
After the Conference USA tournament is where things get interesting for the Knights.
If they win the championship, there’s still a chance UCF hosts a regional in the first round of the NCAA tournament. If Orlando plays host to one of the 16 regional divisions, the Knights stand to gain a great advantage.
The Knights can hold their own against pretty much any team in the nation. If UCF hosts, it’s not unrealistic to expect the Knights to advance to the Super Regionals.
Unfortunately for the Knights, one of the teams who outright outmatches them is the Florida Gators — the team that is likely to host UCF in the first round if the Knights have to travel.
Making it through a likely Gainesville regional is going to be a tough task the Knights might not be ready for. UCF is a year away from being the elite team it desires to be.