Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Texas A&M are feeling super this morning. So are ACC baseball teams from Clemson, Florida State, NC State and Virginia.

As in NCAA Super Regionals.

Those 8 teams advanced one step closer to the College World Series by wrapping up their host regionals with victories on Sunday.

For North Carolina and LSU, 2 head-to-head matchups just weren’t enough. So they’ll return to Chapel Hill’s Boshamer Stadium on Monday for a 6 pm winner-take-all showdown to decide arguably the most competitive regional in this year’s NCAA Tournament bracket.

The 2nd-seeded Tigers had to beat Wofford in an elimination game earlier Sunday before getting another crack at the top-seeded Tar Heels. Once they did, they took advantage of the opportunity. The defending national champions reversed Saturday’s 6-2 loss with an 8-4 victory behind home runs from Josh Pearson and Hayden Travinski to make the if-necessary game necessary.

Florida also came through the loser’s bracket to force a deciding game on Monday. The Gators outslugged Nebraska 17-11 before getting a massive 5 2/3-innings relief performance from Brandon Neely to beat top-seed Oklahoma State 5-2.

Their deciding game will be at 3 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla.

As we come to the end of regional play, here are a few takeaways from Sunday’s action:

ACC Day 3 superlatives

  • Virginia’s Jay Woolfolk, 8 innings, 8 hits, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts.
  • Florida State’s Max Williams, 2-of-4, HR, 3 RBIs.
  • NC State’s Alec Makarewicz, 2-of-4, HR, 2b, 2 RBIs.
  • Clemson’s Jacob Hinderleider, 3-of-5, 3 RBIs.
  • UNC’s Anthony Donofrio, 3-of-4, 3 RBIs.
  • Georgia Tech’s Cam Jones, 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run vs. UNCW.

SEC Day 3 superlatives

  • Tennessee’s Cal Stark, 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBIs.
  • Kentucky’s Mason Moore, 6 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts
  • Kentucky’s Cameron O’Brien, 2 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 5 strikeouts
  • LSU’s Thatcher Hurd, 5 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts vs. UNC.
  • LSU’s Josh Pearson, 3-for-4, HR, 4 runs, 4 RBIs vs. Wofford
  • Texas A&M’s Braden Montgomery, 2-of-6, HR, 4 RBIs.
  • Texas A&M’s Chris Cortez, 2 2/3 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts.
  • Florida’s Jac Caglianone, 2-for-4, HR, 4 runs, 4 RBIs vs. Nebraska.

Clean, old-fashioned hate

Georgia and Georgia Tech were playing for a spot in the Super Regionals on Sunday, but there was clearly more on the line for the heated rivals than just an opportunity to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

In keeping with the tradition of “clean, old-fashioned hate,” the nickname for their annual matchup in football, the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs waged an epic battle that needed more than the initial allotment of 9 innings to decide.

Tech, needing to win twice to advance, put up a 4-spot in the 2nd and led most of the way before UGA tied it with solo homers by Tre Phillips in the 8th and 9th-hitter Kolby Branch leading off the 9th. After the Yellow Jackets failed to push home the winning run after loading the bases in the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs made them pay by scoring 3 times in the 10th.

Corey Collins had the biggest hit of the night with a 2-run double to send UGA into a Super Regional matchup against NC State.

The Cats’ meow

It’s usually the case that hitters have the advantage late in double-elimination tournaments as teams run out of fresh arms. But the opposite turned out to be true for Kentucky in its unbeaten run to its regional championship.

After barely scraping by Western Michigan 10-8 in the opening round, the No. 2 overall seeded Wildcats allowed only 1 run the rest of the way in beating Illinois and Indiana State to earn a spot in next week’s Super Regionals.

They capped a dominant weekend with a 5-0 shutout of the Sycamores behind the trio of Mason Moore, Jackson Nove and Cameron O’Brien. Moore’s 6 shutout innings increased his NCAA Tournament scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings over the past 2 seasons.

The Wildcats will be matched against the winner of the suspended game between Oregon State and UC Irvine in the Corvallis Regional.

No more Cardiac Clemson

The Tigers needed some sleight of hand to survive their first 2 regional games, walking off High Point on Friday before breaking a tie in the top of the 9th Saturday against Coastal Carolina.

Erik Bakich’s team produced a little more hocus pocus in Sunday’s rematch with the Chanticleers. But not the same kind of late-inning dramatics. The now-you-see it, now-you-done came courtesy of third baseman Blake Wright, who pulled the old hidden ball trick to tag out an unsuspecting runner.

https://twitter.com/BaseballQuotes1/status/1797398420274978831

Clemson beat its in-state rival 12-6 and will host a Super Regional against the winner of Monday’s Florida-Oklahoma State game. It will be the Tigers’ first Super Regional appearance since 2010.

After going the first 2 games of the regional without hitting a home run, the Tigers finally got back in the swing Sunday when Jimmy Obertop hit one out in the 3rd inning. Cam Cannarella added another – Clemson’s 103rd of the season – to highlight an 8-run 8th inning outburst that put the game away.

Watch out for the Wolfpack

The sting of getting sent home from the College World Series 1 win from the national championship series in 2021 because of a COVID outbreak is still strong for NC State, coach Elliott Avent and their fans. This year’s team could be the one that helps erase at least some of those bad memories.

Hosting a regional for the first time since 2018 amid an atmosphere Avent described as the best he’s seen in his 27 seasons in Raleigh, the Wolfpack beat James Madison 5-3 on Sunday to sweep through its bracket without a loss.

They’ll take their next step on the road back to Omaha in a Super Regional at Georgia.

This time, however, they won’t have a raucous home crowd backing them. But that’s not an insurmountable obstacle. In 2021, State also had to go on the road. And even after losing Game 1 by a lopsided margin, it still beat top overall seed Arkansas in the next 2 to earn its CWS ticket.

The only player left on the Wolfpack’s roster from that team, Sam Highfill, is expected to be their Game 1 starter in Athens next week.