For the first time in school history the Virginia Cavaliers are the #1 National Seed in the NCAA tournament. This also marks the second time in school history that the Hoos have been one of the top eight national seeds (2010: #5). Filling out the Charlottesville regional will be the East Carolina Pirates, the St. Johns Red Storm, and the Navy Midshipmen. Fortunately for UVa fans, the team is more than familiar with all three of their opponents.
In the first game of the weekend on Friday, UVa will take on Navy. While the two did not play this year or last year, UVa and Navy have squared off numerous times with the last time being in 2009. That year, the Hoos beat the Midshipmen 17-1 in an early season midweek showdown. This year, the Midshipmen are 33-23 and beat Army in the Patriot League final series to win the Patriot League tournament. Navy only played one ACC team this season; a loss to Maryland in late February.
The #3 seed in the region is a team that squared off with the Hoos last year in the regional. St. Johns was the three seed in Charlottesville last year and challenged the Hoos for the region. In the end, UVa took the region and defeated the Red Storm. This year, St. Johns is 35-20 and ended up being 18-8 in the Big East and lost to Seton Hall in the in the Big East championship game. The Storm played five games against UVa's ACC foes and ended with a 2-3 record against them. They played Georgia Tech early in the year but were only able to take one from the Yellow Jackets.
The team that is most familiar with the Cavaliers will most certainly be the ECU Pirates. As most will remember, the two squared off earlier this year in Charlottesville where the 'Hoos took two of three. Even though UVa won two of the games, the Saturday and Sunday matchups were very close as both were decided by a single run. The Pirates ended the year at 39-19 and went 2-1 in their conference tournament but were unable to make their championship game.
ECU is clearly and should be the team that the Hoos are most worried about. They are the #2 seed for a reason. Having said that, I like the draw for the Cavaliers. They should have no trouble against Navy on Friday and should have All-American ready to go on Saturday for a showdown with ECU or St. Johns. As always, with Danny on the mound, the Hoos will be favored. After UVa wins that game they're only a win away from the Super-Regionals. With the depth that UVa has to run out on the mound and the offensive output they showed this past week, I don't see UVa not winning this regional. GO HOOS!