College sports are often considered more exciting than their pro-league counterparts because unexpected outcomes are more common than at the pro level. The rules for certain things are a bit wonky in college sports, including conference winners receiving automatic bids to March Madness and the College World Series tournaments.
Usually, this doesn’t cause any truly unexpected outcomes, but every once in a while, a team comes out of nowhere and qualifies for the championship tourney.
— The American (@American_Conf) May 28, 2023
One unexpected outcome is the 19-40 Tulane Green Wave winning the American Athletic Conference (AAC) baseball championship against the East Carolina Pirates.
The Green Wave entered the AAC tournament as the seventh seed in a 10-team event before running roughshod over the rest of the conference. Tulane upset Houston, crushed Memphis 12-2 via the mercy rule, and came from behind to beat the Pirates.
A record of 19-40 means that the Green Wave qualified for the NCAA Tournament with a winning percentage of 32.20%.
That is the equivalent of a college basketball team going 13-27 and earning a berth in March Madness or an NCAAF team finishing 4-8 and playing in a bowl game.
With the win over ECU, Tulane earns its first AAC tournament berth since 2016 and its ninth conference title between their time as AAC, Metro Conference, and Conference USA members. The Green Wave reached the CWS in 2001 and 2005.
IN THE SAME YEAR
Tulane Football goes from 2-10 to the Cotton Bowl… only to come back and win after trailing by 15.
Then Tulane Baseball turns in a brutal * 18-40 * campaign after changing skippers only to make its first Regional since 2016.
WAVE OF DESTINY pic.twitter.com/6VV5GoEQED
— Fear the Wave (@FearTheWaveBlog) May 28, 2023
Tulane’s Betting Odds Shorter Than Expected
Believe it or not, the Green Wave doesn’t have the worst NCAA baseball odds to win the College World Series at +25000. In fact, 10 other schools have worse odds of taking home the hardware, including Army, Ball State, and George Mason at +30000.
That doesn’t mean Tulane is a smart bet online, but it’s interesting to see 10 teams with worse odds than a school that finished the season 19-40.
While we’re on the subject of odds to win the 2023 College World Series, Wake Forest leads the pack at +400, with LSU (+750) and Arkansas (+900) filling out the top three spots.
Green Wave’s Odds to Beat (5) LSU
Considering LSU is the second favorite to win the College World Series, it’s hard to expect Tulane to escape the Baton Rouge Regional.
David and Goliath Friday afternoon in famed Alex Box Stadium ⚾️
19-40 Tulane vs. 43-15 LSU in @NCAABaseball postseason.
Green Wave respects Tigers, but doesn’t fear them.
LISTEN to this report. pic.twitter.com/LNq2x6MsRW
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) May 30, 2023
The Green Wave rolls into Baton Rouge with a 5-2 record in their previous seven games, including their victory in the AAC Tournament final against East Carolina. The goal is to keep the momentum going, but LSU presents a massive wall for Tulane to climb.
The Tigers beat the Green Wave 11-5 earlier this season and are heavily favored to throw down a repeat performance on Friday. Ace pitcher Paul Skenes (1.77 ERA) has been nearly untouchable for LSU, while the offense has two of the best bats in the nation, Dylan Crews and Tommy White.
According to the team, Tualne believes they have the advantage after losing their last match with LSU. With history against their hitters, pitchers, and bullpen, Tualne has a strategy in place to approach this rematch.
While Tulane doesn’t have the roster that LSU boasts, the Green Wave has a mountain of momentum and a tank full of confidence.