Wake Forest leads 8 NC teams in NCAA baseball tournament

The Demon Deacons earned the top overall seed and will host a regional

Jarrod Belbin and Campbell will face NC State on Friday in the Columbia Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament hosted by South Carolina that also includes Central Connecticut State. (Matthew Hinton / AP Photo)

Wake Forest, which spent the last few weeks of the regular season as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, received the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Demon Deacons earned its first No 1 overall seed in program history and were the ACC’s first top seed since UNC in 2013.


“To be the No. 1 national seed is a tremendous accomplishment for our program.” coach Tom Walter said. “To do that, you have to demonstrate both consistency and toughness. We have battled through four season-ending injuries on the mound, four temporary injuries to key position players and rebounded quickly from tough losses. Our Deacon Nation has shown up for this team in droves during the second half of this season. Friday night will be an electric atmosphere. We look forward to seeing everyone at The Couch!”

Wake will be hosting a regional for the fourth time in school history and the first since 2017. The Demon Deacons won the Winston-Salem regional in 2017, lost to Richmond in the regional final in 2002 and won when they hosted in 1999.

Wake will open play against George Mason and will also need to get past Maryland and Northeastern to advance to the super regionals in week two. Maryland also joined Wake in Winston-Salem the last time the Deacs hosted a regional, six seasons ago.

George Mason (34-25) won the Atlantic 10 tournament to earn its first NCAA bid since 2014. Maryland (41-19) won the Big Ten tourney, while Northeastern (44-14) received an at-large bid, along with Wake (47-10).

If Wake advances from its regional, it will likely face No. 16 seed Alabama, which hosts Nicholls State, Boston College and Troy in a regional.

Wake is one of eight teams from North Carolina to get bids to the tournament, although the Deacs are the only in-state team to get a national seed or to host a regional.

Charlotte will head to Clemson, where the 49ers will open with Tennessee (38-19). Charlotte won the Conference USA title and enter with a 34-26 mark. The 49ers are making their second NCAA trip in three years and the seventh in school history. They received the No. 3 seed in the region. The ACC champion Tigers (43-17) received a No. 4 national seed. Atlantic Sun champion Lipscomb (36-24) rounds out the regional.

No. 15 South Carolina hosts a regional in Columbia, and the Gamecocks (39-19) will be joined by a pair of teams from north of the border. NC State (35-19) received an at-large bid after getting snubbed by the selection committee last season. This will be the first tournament appearance for the Pack since their COVID-interrupted trip to Omaha two years ago.

State will open against Campbell, which won the Big South and enter with a 44-13 mark. It is the seventh trip to the tournament for the Camels, who have made the last five. The Camels are the No. 2 seed in the region, while the Wolfpack are No. 3.

Central Connecticut (36-12), winner of the Northeast Conference tournament, rounds out the regional.

The state of South Carolina will host another matchup of teams from North Carolina. No. 10 national seed Coastal Carolina (39-19) hosts the Conway regional, which also includes Duke and UNC Wilmington. The Blue Devils enter with a 35-21 mark and are making their 10th trip to the tournament, with half of them coming since 2016.

Duke opens play against the Seahawks, who won the Colonial tournament to earn their first bid since 2019. UNCW enters with a 34-21 mark. Duke is the No. 2 seed in the region, while UNCW is No. 3.

Rider (35-19), which won the Metro Atlantic, is the fourth team in the region.

The winner of the Conway region will face the Charlottesville region, hosted by No. 7 national seed Virginia (45-12). That region also features East Carolina, which earned the No. 2 seed in the region with a 45-17 record. ECU opens with Oklahoma (31-26). The Sooners were one of the last four teams in the tournament, earning one of the final at-large bids. ECU earns its fifth straight NCAA bid and seventh in the last eight seasons that ended with a tournament (excluding COVID interrupted 2020).

Army West Point (38-16), winner of the Patriot League, is the fourth team in the region.

The final team in the field are the UNC Tar Heels, who are headed to Terre Haute for the regional hosted by No. 14 national seed Indiana State, the Missouri Valley champion. The Heels (35-22) are the No. 3 seed in the region and open with Iowa (42-14). Wright State (39-21), winner of the Horizon League, is the final team in the region.

Action in every region gets started on Friday.