May 28, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech, champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament. Being on the road is a rarity. The Yellow Jackets earned their 26th NCAA berth in the last 28 years, are the No. 2-seed in the Gainesville Regional and will face No. 3-seed College of Charleston on Friday.
The 2012 NCAA Tournament pairings were announced Monday afternoon on ESPNU, less than 24 hours after Tech beat Miami, 8-5, to complete one of the most improbable ACC Championship runs in the tournament’s 39-year history.
Florida is the nation’s overall No. 1-seed, and battles No. 4-seed Bethune-Cookman Friday as well. The winner of the four-team, double-elimination regional faces the Raleigh Regional winner in Super Regional play, June 8-11.
“We’re in the regional that has the No. 1-seed in the country so obviously a tough draw,” said head coach Danny Hall, who has guided Tech to the NCAA Tournament in 17 of his 19 years on the Flats. “College of Charleston is a Southern Conference team that we played here in the Super Regional in 2006 and they’ve had a great program over the last couple of years.”
Since 1985, only two other teams in the nation have been to more NCAA Tournaments than Tech – Miami and Florida State, with 28 appearances each in that span.
The Jackets, who improved to 36-24 overall after going 4-0 in five days in Greensboro, earned the final spot in the ACC tournament on the last day of the regular season. Tech then became the first-ever No. 8-seed to beat a No. 1-seed in ACC Tournament history (5-4 win over Florida State), then posted the most lopsided win by an eighth-seed in tournament history (17-5 win over Virginia), then became just third-ever eighth-seed to reach the title game, and capped the weekend by becoming the first-ever eighth-seed to win it all.
The Jackets are 2-0 all-time versus the College of Charleston in NCAA Tournament action, beating the Cougars twice in the 2006 Super Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium en route to the most recent of Tech’s four all-time trips to the College World Series.
Tech, though, is away from Russ Chandler Stadium in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008, and just the fourth time in the last 13 years. In fact, the Jackets have not left the state of Georgia for an NCAA Tournament game since 1998 (going 3-2 at the Midwest Regional in Wichita, Kansas). With the exception of playing at the College World Series in Omaha, every one of Tech’s last 47 NCAA games has been played either in Atlanta, or at the University of Georgia.
The Jackets are 3-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament games in Gainesville, going 1-2 in the 1989 East Regional, and going 2-2 at the 1992 East Regional.
Tech was one of seven Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the 2012 field, including two of the of the top six national seeds. Atlantic Division champion Florida State earned the No. 3 overall seed, while Coastal Division champion North Carolina is seeded sixth nationally. FSU (43-15), Miami (36-21), UNC (44-14), NC State (39-17) and Virginia (38-17-1) were named as Regional host schools, giving the ACC a national-best five Regional hosts.
Each of those teams will be seeded No. 1 in their brackets, while Tech (36-24) earned an automatic NCAA berth by virtue of winning the ACC Championship. Only the Southeastern Conference, with eight teams in the field, had more than the ACC.
About College of Charleston
The College of Charleston is 37-20 overall and is an at-large selection from the Southern Conference, after going 21-9 in league play and winning 16 of 28 games away from home. They are 43rd in the most recent RPI. The Cougars are hitting .269 as a team with 63 home runs, paced by SoCon Player of the Year Marty Gantt’s .375 average and 10 bombs. The pitching staff boasts a pair of 9-game winners – Christian Powell and Matt Peglar – and owns a 3.21 staff ERA.
** Tech is 63-55 (.534) all-time in NCAA Tournament action, that includes a 4-5 record in four trips to the College World Series. Away from Russ Chandler Stadium, the Jackets are 35-36 (.493) in the NCAA postseason, including the CWS.
** Tech has been to 28 NCAA Tournaments all time, including berths in 26 of the last 28. Only Miami and Florida State have more NCAA appearances than Tech over the last 28 years.
** The Jackets are 2-0 versus College of Charleston in NCAA postseason play, but have not faced either Florida or Bethune-Cookman in the tournament.