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Thoughts and Notes on the NCAA Baseball Tournament Field

The bracket is set for the 2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament and there are plenty of awesome storylines in this year's Road to Omaha. This Tournament is going to be insane.

Here's what most caught my eye when the bracket was unveiled.

Somehow, Ole Miss found a way in. The Rebels were the only one of the three SEC bubble teams to make the Tournament, with Alabama and Kentucky not even in the First Four Out. It seemed like some of the bid stealers from conference tournaments would push Ole Miss out of the field, but the Rebels squeaked in and will open with a rematch of last year's Super Regional against Arizona in Coral Gables.

The Statesboro Regional is my favorite of the 16 sites. Georgia Southern is hosting for the first time and gets two premier programs in Notre Dame and Texas Tech coming to Statesboro — I would have preferred Georgia and Georgia Tech here as had been projected, but this is a close second. There is going to be some fantastic baseball in this Regional.

And should the Eagles come out of this Regional, they'd potentially go to Knoxville in the Supers to square off against SEC Pitcher of the Year Chase Dollander, who left GSU for Tennessee in the offseason and had one of the best seasons in the country this year.

In terms of storylines, they don't get much better than this. Texas A&M is hosting a Regional in Jim Schlossnagle's first season as head coach after 18 years at TCU and look who's coming to College Station in the postseason. All I want from this Regional is that matchup played three times.

And then there's Tennessee, the heavy favorite to win the whole thing. I like the Vols' draw much more than last year's, but Georgia Tech slugger Kevin Parada can cause anybody problems. UT has steamrolled the competition at every turn so far this season and we'll see if that continues into the NCAA Tournament.

In terms of the teams left out of the field, Rutgers got screwed pretty badly. The Scarlet Knights put up 45 wins and didn't even seem to be on the bubble until the last day or so, but they find themselves on the outside looking in. An RPI of 42 didn't help, but that metric has long been overvalued in baseball. If Ole Miss is in the Tournament, Rutgers should be, too.

On the whole, though, this NCAA Tournament is going to be incredible. Only four days until we get it going. I can't wait.