Better Know Your Opponent is gonna be sort of half-assed because I've been in Maryland the last four days as my best friend got married. So I really don't have any sort of in-depth analysis of UNC, primarily because I'm nursing a hangover to end all hangovers. I learned an important lesson this weekend: never try to drink at the same pace as a guy who tends bar in New Orleans.
But I'll fake it after the jump.
UNC is awesome. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Honestly, I believe they were the best team in the best conference in the nation. And while I believe LSU is a really good team which is currently playing at a level higher than almost anyone in the country, I also believe UNC is a better team. Especially with Alex White on the mound as will be the case tonight.
They are also just killing teams right now. They ripped through the first round in three games by a combined score of 28-12. Then they won their Super against Coastal Carolina 9-4 and 14-4. They haven't even broken a sweat getting to Omaha.
Alex White (10-3, 2.75 ERA, 88.1 IP, 101 K, 38 BB), as everyone who follows college baseball even casually knows, is a stud. The trio of Dustin Ackley (408/500/600), Tim Fedroff (398/464/644), and Kyle Seager (355/431/613) forms one of the most impressive offensive cores in baseball. This is a team that scored 491 runs and allowed only 238 en route to a 51-12 record.
But they aren't without weakness. The bottom three hitters in the order aren't terrible, but they don't inspire fear into your heart. LSU certainly has more depth in the lineup. But as afar as weaknesses go, that's a pretty lame one.
The bullpen is good, but it hasn't been as dominant as the starters. Which is a "well, duh" kind of observation. But if LSU is going to win this game, we will probably need to stay within striking distance when White is on the mound, and then punish the relievers as we've made a habit out of. If UNC gets too big of an early lead, it could be a very long night.
This is the first time in the postseason we're going into a game that I don't feel really confident about. It's obviously winnable. LSU is really good and we've beaten a lot of good teams over the last two months, but this is the creme de la creme. I honestly believe the winner of this game will go go on to the Championship Series and win the national title. Hopefully, that is LSU.