March 16, 2012
South Carolina visits Kentucky
to highlight weekend slate
SEC begins conference play this weekend, and the most intriguing
match-up occurs in Lexington, Ky.
Two-time defending national champion South
Carolina brings a 15-1 record into a three-game series with 18-0
Kentucky, the last undefeated team in Division I. The Gamecocks
have won 14 home games and lost its lone away game, a 6-5 defeat
at Clemson on March 4. South Carolina has had outstanding
pitching, holding opponents to two runs or less 13 times in 16
contests. The Wildcats, under head coach Gary Henderson
(pictured) will get their first stern test, with no eye-popping
wins yet this season.
Other SEC series include Vanderbilt (7-10) at
Florida (16-1), Tennessee (10-6) at Georgia (13-5), Alabama
(8-9) at Arkansas (16-2), Mississippi State (14-5) at LSU (14-3)
and Auburn (10-7) at Ole Miss (14-3).
The ACC moves into its second weekend of
conference play with North Carolina (3-0, 14-3) visiting
Maryland (0-3, 13-4). The Terps had a terrific start to the
season before being swept at Wake Forest last weekend. The Tar
Heels won three at Clemson and look stay on top of the Coastal
Division. The Demon Deacons (3-0, 16-4) take a 15-game win
streak to NC State (2-1, 12-3). The Wolfpack won its opening
series at home against Georgia Tech. The other ACC action has
the Yellow Jackets hosting Virginia Tech (1-2, 14-4), Virginia
(2-1, 11-5-1) at Florida State (3-0, 14-2), Miami (3-0, 14-3) at
Duke (0-3, 7-12) and Boston College (0-3, 6-8) at Clemson (0-3,
6-8). The FSU-UVa series will run Saturday through Monday, with
the games on Saturday and Monday being televised on ESPNU.
The Pac-12 starts league play this weekend with
10 of the 11 teams in action. Stanford (13-2) is idle for exams.
Arizona State (11-5) will travel to UCLA (13-3) in the most
interesting set. The Bruins have an 11-game win streak after a
sweep at Georgia last weekend and a win over USC on Tuesday at
Dodger Stadium. The Sun Devils are ineligible for the NCAA
Tournament, so their ultimate prize is the Pac-12 regular-season
crown. Oregon State (11-5) goes to California (11-4), Washington
State (9-6) visits Arizona (14-3), Oregon (12-3) heads to
Washington (10-6) and Utah (4-11) makes its Pac-12 debut at USC
The Big 12 kicks off conference action with Texas
(7-8) traveling to Oklahoma (11-6). The Longhorns have had a
disappointing start, but will look at this as the start of the
rest of the season. Texas Tech (12-5) will go to Baylor (11-7)
and Texas A&M (14-4) hosts Kansas State (11-6).
UNC Wilmington (3-0, 7-9) follows up its sweep of
James Madison by heading to Delaware (2-1, 7-9) in CAA action.
Two of the preseason favorites in the Northeast Conference
tangle as Sacred Heart (1-10) hosts Central Connecticut State
A key series in the A-Sun has Kennesaw State
(9-8) heading to Mercer (13-5). Florida Atlantic (11-7) goes to
FIU (8-7) and ULM (12-6) hosts Louisiana-Lafayette (10-7) as Sun
Belt play begins.
Texas State (2-1, 11-5) hosts Stephen F. Austin
(1-2, 6-10), Nicholls (2-1, 10-7) entertains Sam Houston State
(2-1, 9-7) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-1, 9-8) welcomes
Southeastern Louisiana (1-2, 13-5) in key Southland Conference
series. The Mountain West starts league play with TCU (8-6) at
An interesting non-conference series has Dallas
Baptist (10-6) at A-10 favorite Charlotte (10-7). Oral Roberts
(9-7), the perennial pick in the Summit, continues its four-game
series with Missouri State (12-6) after a 1-0 win for the Golden
Eagles on Thursday. Purdue (13-1) continues its set at Wichita
State (10-9) after an 8-3 win Thursday. Kent State (7-6), the
pick to win the MAC, plays at Pepperdine (13-4). Delaware State
(3-0, 10-6-1), the team with the best record in the MEAC,
entertains Cornell (7-1), the top team so far in the Ivy League.
Enjoy the weekend.
(photo courtesy of
UK Media Relations Office)