On paper, Vanderbilt has a favorable matchup against Stanford. The Cardinal finished the 2014 season only 10 games over .500 and with a middling RPI of 45. The Commodores even have a three-game home sweep of their Super Regional opponent on record from earlier in the season. In terms of a sweet sixteen matchup, the 'Dores couldn't have drawn up a better theoretical opponent out of the available teams.
However, the Nashville Super Regional won't be played on paper. And, as folks across the state of Indiana would tell you, the Cardinal are a much more dangerous team that most give them credit for.
Stanford rallied for an emotional, come-from-behind victory over the #4 Hoosiers last Monday when light-hitting shortstop Tommy Edman cleared the bases with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. That homer - Edman's third of the season and the first of his lifetime from the left side of the plate - stunned the home crowd and capped off a tremendous rally that vaulted the Cardinal to this weekend's Super Regional matchup. They'll be riding that momentum - and an innate sense of destiny - into Nashville. While oddsmakers will see them as underdogs, it's almost certain that these Stanford players do not feel the same way.