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Texas' Bracket: A Closer Look

Not only are the Horns a #1 seed, and not only are the Horns hosting, but the Horns are the #1 overall seed. In theory the Horns should have the easiest road to Omaha of anyone. In practice that's not always the case, and if the last three seasons have proved nothing else they most certainly proved that anything can happen in the postseason.

The full bracket is available here, and Texas' portion is as follows:

1) Texas

vs.                                 -- 6 PM Friday

4) Army


2) Texas State

vs.                                 -- 1 PM Friday

3) Boston College


The Horns are also matched up with TCU in a potential superregional, with A&M as the 2 seed there (but we're getting a tad ahead). All the teams in Texas' bracket save one have one thing in common: offense. Texas State is in the top 25 nationally in batting average and runs, Army is 21st in batting average and 58 in scoring, and Boston College is in the top 100 in both categories. Texas of course ranks somewhere in the 200s in both scoring and batting average.

When it comes to pitching and defense though, Texas is king. Army is ranked 65 nationally in ERA (4.83) and 58th in fielding percentage, Boston College is 67th in ERA (4.84) and 53rd in fielding percentage, and Texas State is 74th in ERA (4.97) and 57th in fielding percentage. Of course the difference between those three teams and Texas (ranked #1 in ERA) is the difference between Texas State and the Toledo (#242 nationally), and the Horns are #3 nationally in fielding percentage, so advantage: Texas.

Playing in the Disch, one would think Texas' pitching advantage would be decisive. Texas has proven an ability to win close games, manufacture runs most of the time, and pitch well with consistently. Playing three teams without elite arms and nowhere near the depth of Texas' bullpen should mean favorable results for the Horns. But after three postseason failures we're not going to take anything for granted.

The Bracket

You probably remember Texas State, they finished the year 38-14 beating Texas A&M, Rice and Baylor while going 0-2 against Texas including a very close 6-5 loss and a 12-2 beatdown. Texas didn't see Texas State ace Kane Holbrooks (10-1, 3.34 ERA) in either outting though, so it will be interesting to see if he's held out against Boston College in order to face Texas. Texas State has six regulars hitting above .340, with the gems being Spenser Dennis (.408), Tyler Sibley (.369, 10 HR, .470 OBP) and Raul Goldschmidt (.353, 17 HR).

Boston College (33-24) is making its first NCAA tourney since 1967. The Golden Eagles took two of three from Florida State but hasn't beaten anybody else of note in a three game series (although they have taken one of three from several nationally ranked teams including North Carolina). Friday starter JB MacDonald is 5-7 with a 4.70 ERA, and Sunday starter Pat Dean has been extremely solid (6-4, 3.36 ERA, 85 Ks in 88 innings with only 15 walks) maybe making BC a tough out from the tournament. BC's offense is paced by three guys with more than 10 HR -- Tony Sanchez (14), Mickey Wiswall (14), and Mike Belifore (11).

Army's (34-19) biggest victory on the year was a 9-8 victory over Illinois way back in March. Army started the year 16-16 but have been on a tear of late, going 18-3 down the stretch although not exactly against the most difficult of competition. Army will probably throw Friday starter Matt Fouch (7-3, 4.30 ERA) but Saturday starter Ben Koenigsfield (8-4, 4.98 ERA) has shown an ability to throw well (4 complete games on the year). Like Texas State, Army has six regulars hitting above .340, led by Kevin McKague (.400).