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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Preseason College Top 25

Kendall Rogers        
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The North Carolina Tar Heels will enter the 2013 baseball season in familiar territory as the nation's top-ranked team in the Perfect Game Preseason College Top 25.

As a program that has competed for the national title in the College World Series title series twice in the last decade, the Tar Heels are very much used to a lofty ranking.

Now comes the hard part of meeting expectations. The Tar Heels have room to improve offensively this spring after hitting just .276 last season, but their situation is looking up with the return of several key cogs, including Preseason All-American third baseman and top prospect Colin Moran.

The most impressive aspect of this team is the pitching staff. The Tar Heels have a terrific weekend rotation including Benton Moss, Kent Emanuel and Hobbs Johnson. They also have yet another stellar bullpen with Chris McCue, Tate Parrish, Chris O'Brien, Shane Taylor, Mason McCullough and Luis Paula back for another campaign, along with Chris Munnelly, who will serve as midweek starter and spot reliever during the weekend.

The Tar Heels might lead the way, but they're joined by some outstanding teams in the top five with Arkansas (2), Vanderbilt (3), Stanford (4) and LSU (5) part of the group.

In terms of conference representation, here's the breakdown:

SEC: 8

Pacific 12: 6

ACC: 4

Big 12: 3

Big East: 1

Big West: 1

WCC: 1

Conference USA: 1

The Perfect Game Top 25 will be released each Monday morning throughout the college baseball season.

ALSO SEE: College Top 25 team breakdowns

Rank Team 2012 W-L Conference 2012 rank
1. North Carolina      
46-16 Atlantic Coast 18
2. Arkansas
46-22 Southeastern
3. Vanderbilt 35-28 Southeastern
4. Stanford
41-18 Pacific 12 13
5. Louisiana State
47-18 Southeastern 11
48-16 Pacific 12 4
7. Florida
Southeastern      6
8. Oregon State
40-20 Pacific 12 23
9. N.C. State 43-20
Atlantic Coast 12
10. Oregon
Pacific 12 10
11. South Carolina
49-20 Southeastern 2
12. Georgia Tech
38-26 Atlantic Coast
13. Kentucky
Southeastern 21
14. Texas Christian
40-22 Big 12
15. Louisville 41-22 Big East
16. Mississippi State
40-24 Southeastern 22
17. Florida State 50-17 Atlantic Coast
18. San Diego
40-17 West Coast NR
19. Mississippi 37-26 Southeastern
20. Oklahoma
42-25 Big 12 15
21. Rice 41-19 Conference USA
22. Arizona
48-17 Pacific 12 1
23. Cal State Fullerton 36-21 Big West
24. Texas
30-22 Big 12 NR
25. Arizona State 36-20 Pacific 12

Ten to watch: Clemson, Texas A&M, Southern Mississippi, Miami, Virginia, Kent State, UC Irvine, New Mexico, Tulane, Baylor.
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