- Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2011

Virginia was selected Monday as the top seed for the 64-team NCAA Division I college baseball tournament.

The Cavaliers (49-9) won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and will host one of 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals that begin Friday. Virginia, led by left-hander and potential No. 1 overall draft pick Danny Hultzen of Bethesda, opens against Patriot League champion Navy (33-23-1) in the Charlottesville regional.

“When you look at Virginia over the course of the season, it’s hard to argue that anybody has had more success than Virginia,” said selection committee chairman Tim Weiser, also the deputy commissioner of the Big 12.

The other national seeds, in order, are: Florida (45-16), North Carolina (45-14), South Carolina (45-14), Florida State (42-17), Vanderbilt (47-10), Texas (43-15) and Rice (41-19). Those teams will not have to face each other until the College World Series, if they make it there.

It’s the first time UVa. has been seeded No. 1, which doesn’t necessarily translate to success in Omaha. The only top national seed to win it all since the field was expanded in 1999 to 64 teams was Miami in that same year.

Weiser said that in many of the committee members’ minds, Virginia coach Brian O’Connor has fielded his best team, the only Division I squad with single-digit losses despite three straight defeats at North Carolina to end the regular season.

“That wasn’t, I think for our committee, enough to offset what they had done in the previous 53 games, if you will,” Weiser said.

Defending national champion South Carolina was among seven Southeastern Conference schools selected for the tournament by the NCAA baseball committee, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Also with seven teams is the ACC with Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia.