(Andy Hutchins/SB Nation)
The Florida Gators entered the 2012 college baseball season with as much talent as any team in the nation, and ripped off a white-hot start that showed how good they could be at their best. Despite faltering to an extent in SEC play, the Gators were rewarded with the No. 1 national seed in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament as the field was announced during an ESPNU selection show on Monday.
Florida, already announced as a NCAA Regional host site, will welcome Georgia Tech, College of Charleston, and Bethune-Cookman to Gainesville for Regional play beginning Friday, June 1. The Gators will meet the Wildcats first in double elimination play on Friday.
The national seed means the Gators will host a Super Regional at McKethan Stadium if they can advance from the Regional round; the Gainesville Regional is matched up with North Carolina State's Raleigh Regional, which also features red-hot Vanderbilt, UNC-Wilmington, and Sacred Heart. It is also the Gators' first-ever No. 1 national seed.
The Gators will be looking to make their third straight trip to Omaha for the College World Series. Florida has never won the national title in baseball, falling to South Carolina in the championship series in 2011 and to Texas in the same round in 2005, but would become one of an elite group of teams with national championships in football, men's basketball, and baseball if it can.