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NEWS, NOTES & COMMENTARY
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The Bradsher Beat
Friday, May 30, 2008

By Bethany Bradsher

'Diamond Dance' by the numbers

By Bethany Bradsher
©2008 Bonesville.net
All rights reserved.

OK, Iím being transparent here. Itís the eve of the NCAA Championship Tournament, and I just donít feel the thrill.

Maybe itís because Iím not even sure if I should call it ďMay ManiaĒ or ďJune Jubilee.Ē

Maybe itís because there are 16 No. 1 seeds and no one higher than a 4, so the Cinderellas look like everyone else at the ball.

Or maybe it can be summarized in two simple words: no pools.

So, even though we donít have multiple copies of brackets lying all over the house and even though the format tends to rob it of some drama, I will still salute the baseball bracket, and I promise to give it just one more cutesy nickname. Here, the Big Diamond Dance by the numbers:

  • Nine: The number of NCAA Regionals in which the Pirates have appeared in the past 10 years, excepting only 2006.

  • Two: East Carolinaís total number of trips to the NCAA Super Regional level, in 2001 and 2004. The Diamond Bucs have never won a game at a Super Regional.

  • Eight: The number of teams in the field of 64 that are from Texas and California, the best-represented states in the event. North Carolina isnít far behind with six teams playing (East Carolina, North Carolina, Elon, UNC-Wilmington, North Carolina State and UNC-Charlotte.)

  • 588: The number of wins notched by Alabama coach Jim Wells in his career. The winningest coach in Tide history, Wells hopes to extend the trend against East Carolina tonight.

  • 96: The number of hits collected by freshman Crimson Tide shortstop Josh Rutledge, who is leading the SEC in that category.

  • 16-32: The season record of Texas Southern, the losingest team in the NCAA tournament field.

  • 77: The number of strikeouts credited to ECU freshman Seth Maness, who was named a third-team All-American on Thursday. Maness is the 18th Pirate in school history to make an All-American roster.

  • 1.77: The difference in ERA between Fridayís two starting pitchers in the Conway Regional. Maness, representing the Pirates, has a 2.87 while Alabamaís Austin Hyatt takes the mound with a 4.64.

  • 15: In dollars, the price to buy tickets to ECUís single games at this weekendís regional.

  • 5: The number of times ECU has played a regional in either North or South Carolina in the past decade.

So, fill out those brackets and remember this: No one ever went from a March Madness basketball game straight to the beach or got a killer tan in the cheap seats.

Send an e-mail message to Bethany Bradsher.

Dig into Bethany Bradsher's Bonesville archives.

05/30/2008 01:47:51 AM

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