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College | Story | 3/5/2021

Weekend Preview: Week 3

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Levi Usher (Louisville Athletics)
College Top 25Player, Pitcher of the Week | College Player Report Database

More chaos ensued during week two as former No. 1 Ole Miss dropped their home opening series to UCF, and we have a third straight new No. 1 team in the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville headlines one of two ranked ACC matchups heading into Friday night’s games as they’ll visit No. 10 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. With that being said, let’s dive in and see what this week’s slate will bring us.

Top 25 in Action

Rank Team Opponent Location
1 Louisville at No. 10 Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga.
2 Florida home vs. Florida A&M Gainesville, Fla.
3 Arkansas home vs. Murray State Fayetteville, Ark.
4 Ole Miss home vs. Belmont Oxford, Miss.
5 Vanderbilt home vs. Illinois-Chicago Nashville, Tenn.
6 Mississippi State home vs. Kent State Starkville, Miss.
7 Miami at No. 24 North Carolina State Raleigh, N.C.
8 Texas Tech vs. Texas State, Sam Houston, & Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Houston, Tex.
9 LSU home vs. Oral Roberts Baton Rouge, La.
10 Georgia Tech home vs. No. 1 Louisville Atlanta, Ga.
11 UC Santa Barbara home vs. Oregon Santa Barbara, Calif.
12 East Carolina home vs. Appalachian State Greenville, N.C.
13 UCLA home vs. Pepperdine, Fullerton, & Southern California Los Angeles, Calif.
14 Indiana vs. Rutgers & Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn.
15 Virginia at Florida State Tallahassee, Fla.
16 South Carolina home vs. Mercer Columbia, S.C.
17 Arizona vs. Oklahoma, Dallas Baptist, & Missouri Frisco, Tex.
18 Michigan vs. Iowa Round Rock, Tex.
19 Arizona State home vs. Utah Phoenix, Ariz.
20 Georgia home vs. North Florida Athens, Ga.
21 TCU vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State, & Sam Houston Houston, Tex.
22 Auburn home vs. Boston College Auburn, Ala.
23 Ohio State vs. Illinois Greenville, S.C.
24 NC State home vs. No. 7 Miami Greenville, N.C.
25 Florida Atlantic home/away vs. Florida Gulf Coast Boca Raton/Fort Myers, Fla.


Ranked ACC Matchups

No. 1 Louisville visits No. 10 Georgia Tech in the second top-10 matchup of the season while No. 7 Miami travels to No. 24 North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets matchup with the Cardinals after both schools dropped their midweek, but Georgia Tech is coming off an impressive series sweep of North Carolina State. The Cardinals will be down some players due to protocol testing but the main core of their lineup will be available. Henry Davis has gotten off to a blistering start as he’s been hammering balls while Louisville is still trying to get star Alex Binelas going.

Miami and North Carolina State are both coming off series losses to open ACC play and both will be looking to get back on track in this series. The Hurricanes’ offense has been struggling as they only have two home runs as a team in their first six games, so they’ll be looking to get big bats Alex Toral and Raymond Gil going. The Wolfpack’s offense has similarly been struggling as they were held to only nine runs over the three-game sweep against Georgia Tech. Something’s gotta give in this ACC series as there are sure to be fireworks.

Frisco & Shriner’s Classic in Texas

The Frisco Classic got underway on Thursday and features Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, and Dallas Baptist while the Shriner’s features a couple of ranked teams in No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 21 TCU along with Sam Houston, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Rice, and Texas State. Both events are normally launching boards into the rest of the spring and each tournament features some intriguing matchups. Sam Houston features Colton Cowser, a potential first round pick, along with Texas State and Dallas Baptist being very good mid-major teams on the cusp of being ranked at various points throughout the early goings. Oklahoma is on its second straight weekend of a tournament as they participated in the Round Rock Classic last week. The tournaments tend to die down as the season gets underway so it’s nice to see these matchups continue in 2021.

Big Ten Starts Conference Play

The Big Ten is going to play out an all-conference schedule and this weekend will be the start of play for the conference. There are three teams ranked in our Top 25 from the Big Ten in No. 14 Indiana, No. 18 Michigan, and No. 24 Ohio State, and the conference features some of the top players in the country. There will be remote bubbles throughout the country to start with a three-team series in Minneapolis, Greenville, and Round Rock that will feature four game series for each team. There are a ton of storylines in the conference this year, like how the new-look Michigan Wolverines play, Indiana entering as the conference favorite, and the power arms that the Buckeyes possess, amongst others. The Midwestern conference is exciting to follow year-in and year-out and 2021 will be no exception.

Wide Open ACC

Opening weekend of ACC play was bananas and featured upsets galore as favorites Miami, Virginia, and North Carolina State all dropped series they were projected to win. That being said, credit due to teams like Boston College, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech who took care of business and were able to notch the upsets and help their case to win the conference as the season goes. Boston College’s Sal Frelick and Cody Morissette are a star-powered duo, while the emergence of Justice Thompson has been a revelation for the Tar Heels. The pitching staff was excellent for the Hokies down in Coral Gables as their veteran pitching staff looks the part of a very successful run-avoidance unit. The conference is seemingly wide open after Louisville at the top, but even the Cardinals could be vulnerable as the conference could go any number of directions this season.

West Coast Round Robin

No. 13 UCLA will be hosting Southern California, Cal State Fullerton, and Pepperdine in a round robin tournament out in Los Angeles. The Bruins are coming off a course correction this past weekend against UC Irvine, while all three of the opposing teams have their strengths. USC has some excitement with Chandler Champlain impressing on Friday nights and veteran bats returning, headlined by Jamal O’Guinn. Pepperdine was swept at the hands of No. 11 UC Santa Barbara but there’s still talent throughout, headlined by Wyatt Young and Billy Cook. Fullerton was a trendy pick out in the Big West and have a ton of talent to bounce back from a disappointing 2020. The biggest development, however, might be the return of UCLA ace Zach Pettway, who has only thrown one inning so far but is expected to start the series opener.
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