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Baseball Left Out Of NCAA Tourney

Notre Dame head baseball coach Mik Aoki said last week he thought the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish would have to win the Big East Championship in Clearwater, Fla., in order to keep playing this year. He was right.

Mik Aoki finishes his third season coaching in South Bend without a trip to the NCAA Championship.

Despite a surprising run to Sunday’s final, the only team seeded lower than the Irish in the league tournament ended up with a more shocking run.

No. 8 Connecticut thumped Notre Dame 8-1 Sunday to claim the crown and earn an NCAA Championship bid. The Irish, which dropped to 34-24 overall, were left out of the 64-team field announced Monday on ESPNU.

Notre Dame’s RPI stood at No. 32 after the defeat Sunday. Aoki’s team tallied eight wins over squads ranking among the RPI top 50, including Virginia Tech (Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament runner-up) and Oklahoma (Big 12 champion). The Irish also took two out of three at Cal Poly (RPI No. 25). All three schools picked up regional bids.

The eight national seeds went to No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, No. 6 Virginia, No. 7 Florida State and No. 8 Oregon.

Notre Dame’s strength of schedule is best in the Big East (No. 46). Joining Connecticut as the only other Big East program to break into the national tournament is Louisville, which will host one of the 16 double-elimination regionals. The Irish have not received an NCAA bid since 2006.

Regional play begins Friday.

Chapel Hill (N.C) Regional
1 North Carolina
Canisius
Towson
Florida Atlantic

Columbia (S.C.) Regional
South Carolina
Saint Louis
Liberty
Clemson

Raleigh (N.C.) Regional
North Carolina State
Binghampton
William & Mary
Ole Miss

Eugene (Ore.) Regional
8 Oregon
South Dakota State
San Francisco
Rice

Fullerton (Calif.) Regional
5 Cal State Fullerton
Columbia
New Mexico
Arizona State

Los Angeles Regional
UCLA
San Diego State
San Diego
Cal Poly

Blacksburg Regional
Virginia Tech
Connecticut
Coastal Carolina
Oklahoma

Baton Rouge (La.) Regional
4 LSU
Jackson State
Sam Houston State
UL Lafayette

Nashville Regional
2 Vanderbilt
East Tennessee State
Illinois
Georgia Tech

Louisville (Ky.) Regional
Louisville
Bowling Green
Oklahoma State
Miami (Fla.)

Bloomington (Ind.) Regional
Indiana
Valparaiso
Florida
Austin Peay

Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional
7 Florida State
Savannah State
Troy
Alabama

Charlottesville (Va.) Regional
6 Virginia
Army
Elon
UNC Wilmington

Starkville (Miss.) Regional
Mississippi State
Central Arkansas
Mercer
South Alabama

Manhattan (Kan.) Regional
Kansas State
Wichita State
Bryant
Arkansas

Corvallis (Ore.) Regional
3 Oregon State
UT San Antonio
UC Santa Barbara
Texas A&M

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