John Savage has UCLA in position for another deep tournament run (Photo Credit: Scott Wu)
There was some speculation on Sunday night that UCLA would be the number one national seed when the NCAA Tournament brackets were revealed on Monday. They weren't, with the top spot going to Florida, but they were named the number two national seed will do just fine after a 42-14 season and second consecutive Pac-12 title.
UCLA already knew that they would host a Regional, with that having been announced on Sunday afternoon, but earning a national seed also guaranteed them the right to host a Super Regional if they advance that far. Now they know their route not just through the Regionals, but through the Super Regionals and onto Omaha.
This year's Los Angeles Regional will see two seed San Diego, three seed New Mexico and four seed Creighton join number one seeded UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Toreros and Lobos will get things underway on Friday at 3 pm PT before the Bruins take on the Blue Jays at 7 pm PT. The double elimination Regional will continue on Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm PT and 7 pm PT with Monday's if necessary game scheduled for 7 pm PT.
For the Bruins, it is a fair, but hardly ideal Regional. Both San Diego and New Mexico are fairly seeded two and three seeds so there is no room for complaint there and there isn't any room for complaint with Creighton either, who is also fairly seeded as a four seed, but that match-up against the Blue Jays is going to be tough.
If Creighton has one strength, it is on Fridays when Ty Blach takes the mound. The Blue Jays' ace has been fantastic all year and is exactly what the Bruins were hoping to avoid in a four seed -- a dominant left-hander. Blach is going to make Friday very difficult for the Bruins, but if they can get past him, things start to open up for them. Not that the Toreros and Lobos are pushovers, because they are not and could very well win this Regional is the Bruins aren't at their best, but Blach is a big time pitcher and could give UCLA fits.
Then again, UCLA is not the number two national seed for no reason. They are the undoubted favorites to come out of their Regional and then host the winner of the College Station Regional -- featuring Texas A&M, TCU, Ole Miss and Dayton -- in the Super Regionals. Get past that and the Bruins are back in Omaha for the second time in three years after an entire history that saw them make it to the College World Series just twice prior to 2010.
Prior to 2010, the Bruins had not hosted a Regional since 1986, had never hosted a Regional in consecutive years and had never hosted a Super Regional. Now they will host their third consecutive Regional and, if they advance, will host their second Super Regional in three years. Tack that onto the first back-to-back conference titles in school history and you have, without a doubt, the greatest three-year run in UCLA history for a program that doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon.