6 SEC schools among 16 regional hosts for NCAA Tournament

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[Staff Photo/Erin Nelson

By ERIC OLSON AP Sports Writer

OMAHA, Neb. — LSU will host a regional in the NCAA baseball tournament for the 26th time, while West Virginia was selected as a first-time host Sunday.

The 16 teams announced as hosts have locked up spots in the national tournament, and the rest of the 64-team field will be unveiled at 12 p.m. Monday on ESPNU.

Florida (33-24) is projected as one of the last five teams to make the field.  The Gators, who have made every NCAA Tournament since 2008, strengthened their case with a road sweep over Missouri in the last series of the regular season, but might be on the outside looking in because of their losing record (13-17) in the SEC and first-round loss in the league tournament last week.

Each regional will be made up of four teams playing in a double-elimination format. All are scheduled from Friday through Monday. Regional winners advance to best-of-three super regionals, and those eight winners go on to the College World Series in Omaha.

The Southeastern Conference led the way with six hosts: LSU (37-24), Arkansas (41-17), Georgia (44-15), Mississippi State (46-13), Mississippi (37-25) and Vanderbilt (49-10).

The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Pac-12 have three teams apiece hosting regionals. The ACC hosts are Georgia Tech (41-17), Louisville (43-15) and North Carolina (42-17). Big 12 hosts are Oklahoma State (36-18), Texas Tech (39-17) and West Virginia (37-20). Pac-12 hosts are defending national champion Oregon State (36-18-1), Stanford (41-11) and UCLA (47-8).

East Carolina (43-15) of the American Athletic Conference is the other host.

West Virginia played a district tournament at home in 1955, but this will be the first time the Mountaineers have played in Morgantown under the current tournament format.

“We are super excited to host an NCAA regional and welcome everyone to Morgantown,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “This is a great opportunity for our program and all of Mountaineer Nation, and I know our team can’t wait to play in front of a packed Monongalia County Ballpark on Friday night.”

Arkansas, East Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Stanford and Texas Tech all hosted in 2018.

2 COMMENTS

  1. While I don’t stand in awe of the Gators’ performance on the baseball field this year the mere fact that there are 6 SEC teams acting as regional hosts indicates that the SEC was an incredibly hard conference to play in this year. 13-17 shouldn’t keep them out when fully a third of the teams making the tournament will be no more than cannon fodder.