The Michigan baseball team is going dancing.
After the Wolverines went 42-15 during the regular season — their most successful regular season since 2008 — they were selected for the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, receiving a No. 3 seed in the Chapel Hill regional, hosted by No. 2 national seed North Carolina.
Despite a top-20 ranking for most of the season, Michigan’s relatively low RPI (35) and strength of schedule (138), as well as the two losses it suffered in last week’s Big Ten Tournament caused it to remain on the bubble, and contributed to the Wolverines’ fairly low seeding relative to their win total — in fact, Michigan was the last team in the tournament, according to the NCAA.
Including the Wolverines, five Big Ten teams qualified for the tournament, tying a record set two years ago. Iowa won the conference’s automatic bid by winning the Big Ten Tournament Sunday, while Indiana, Nebraska and Maryland received at-large nods.
The Chapel Hill regional, which features a double-elimination format, includes Michigan, No. 1-seed North Carolina, No. 2-seed Florida Gulf Coast and No. 4-seed Davidson. The Wolverines will open play against the Eagles at 1 p.m. Friday.
Nationally, Oregon State, which held the No. 1 ranking for much of the season in the D1baseball.com poll, among other polls, was named the top overall seed. Other nationally seeded teams include North Carolina, Florida, LSU, Texas Tech, TCU, Louisville and Stanford.
The NCAA Tournament Regional round begins Thursday, and the regional round runs through Monday. Following regionals are the super regionals, hosted by the regional winners. The eight Super Regional champions advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. starting June 17.