Arizona State was selected Monday as the top seed for the 64-team NCAA Division I college baseball tournament.
The Sun Devils (47-8) won the Pac-10 title under interim coach Tim Esmay, who replaced Pat Murphy after he resigned in November. They will host one of 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals that begin Friday. The other national seeds are Texas (46-11), Florida (42-15), Coastal Carolina (51-7), Virginia (47-11), UCLA (43-13), Louisville (48-12), and Georgia Tech (45-13).
The Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conference each have eight teams in the tournament, all-time highs for both the ACC and Pac-10. Two teams with losing records earned automatic berths by winning their conference titles: Patriot League champion Bucknell (25-33) and Southwestern Conference winner Grambling (22-30).
The 16 regional winners move on to the best-of-three super regionals, with those winners advancing to the College World Series, which begins June 19 in Omaha, Neb. It will be the last one played at Rosenblatt Stadium, the event's host since 1950. The eight-team championship will move to a new ballpark in downtown Omaha next season.
Florida International's Garrett Wittels will carry a 54-game hitting streak into the Coral Gables, Fla., regional and an opening-round matchup against Texas A&M. Wittels is four games shy of matching Robin Ventura's Division I record of 58 consecutive games with at least one hit, set in 1987 for Oklahoma State. Other players to watch include Mississippi lefthander Drew Pomeranz, Clemson outfielder Kyle Parker, Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen, Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox, Georgia Tech righthander Deck McGuire, and Texas righty Cole Green.
GOLF: Reigning NCAA golf champion Matt Hill is turning pro, skipping his final year at North Carolina State after missing a chance to defend his title.
Hill said he will make his pro debut this week at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio. The 21-year-old competed in three PGA Tour events as an amateur last summer, making the cut at the AT&T Classic and finishing tied for 70th.
TRACK AND FIELD: Six athletes, five of them women, from Villanova have qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships beginning June 9 in Eugene, Ore. They are: Sheila Reid and Ellen Daugherty in the 1,500, Amanda Marino and Bogdana Mimic in the 5,000, Shericka Ward in the 100 hurdles, and Carl MacKenzie in the men's 1,500,
Temple long-jumper Tim Boeni qualified during the weekend in competition in Greensboro, N.C. Other local qualifiers are Penn State's Ryan Fritz (Octorara) in the men's high jump and Caitlin DeFusco (Germantown Academy) in the women's 4x100 relay; Rutgers' Bruce Owens (Deptford) in the men's 200; and 4x400 relay team members Kevin Brown (Woodbury), Steve Swern (Lenape) and Aaron Younger (Delsea); LSU's LaTavia Thomas (West Catholic) in the women's 800; and Oklahoma's Karen Shump (Penncrest) in the women's shot put.
CYCLING: Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde received a global two-year ban for his connection to a blood-doping ring, but was allowed to keep his 2009 Spanish Vuelta victory.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency, which wanted him sanctioned for suspected doping revealed in a 2006 Spanish scandal. Valverde, 30, cannot compete until January 2012.
TENNIS: Stanford's Bradley Klahn beat Louisville's Austen Childs, 6-1, 6-2, in Athens, Ga., for the NCAA men's title.
- Staff and wire reports