The tournament field was announced this afternoon. Michigan doesn't head west to Corvallis, as a number of folks thought the Big Ten Champions might, they head south to play in the regional hosted by Georgia Tech. In addition, to having the Yellow Jackets, the Wolverines are in a regional with Stetson and their opening round opponent, Vanderbilt.
This is not an easy regional. The Jackets (45-16) are one of the eight national seeds, in more simple terms, one of the eight teams favored to be in the College World Series. That's bad enough. Stetson (38-22) may not be a household name to fans of Big Ten football and basketball, but they can play baseball. Finally, there is Michigan's (42-19) first opponent, Vanderbilt. The Commodores (36-25) are darn good. I've seen them two or three times on television and they have a very solid team.
If the average college baseball fan was asked to put in order who would win this regional, I suspect it would be: Tech, then Vandy, Stetson third and the Wolverines last. It's painful, but true. Did I mention this is not an easy regional?
That doesn't matter, however. There are no easy regionals. Michigan, and Notre Dame, for that matter, needs to win NCAA Tournament games regardless of the opposition. They need to bring some credibility and respect to baseball in the north. It needs to begin somewhere, it may as well begin in Georgia.