OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Sixteen teams representing seven conferences will host regionals in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.
Five Atlantic Coast Conference teams and four from the Southeastern Conference were chosen as hosts Sunday night. Last year, 13 of the 16 hosts were from the ACC and SEC.
Each of the host schools is guaranteed a spot in the 64-team tournament. The rest of the field, including the top eight national seeds, and pairings will be announced Monday. One regional will start play on Thursday, with the other 15 slated to begin Friday.
The ACC hosts are North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Clemson and Wake Forest. SEC hosts are LSU, Florida, Kentucky and Arkansas.
Oregon State and Stanford are hosts from the Pac-12, and Texas Tech and TCU are home teams in the Big 12.
Other hosts are Southern Mississippi of Conference USA, Long Beach State of the Big West and Houston of the American Athletic Conference.
Last year, the westernmost regional was in Lubbock, Texas. This year there will be three regionals on the West Coast.
North Carolina (47-12), Louisville (47-10), Florida State (39-20) and Clemson (39-19) regularly host regionals out of the ACC, but Wake Forest (39-18) will do so for the first time since 2002 and third time overall. Clemson gets to play at home despite going two-and-out at the ACC Tournament and losing seven of its last nine.
LSU (43-17) and Florida (42-16) were locks to host, and Arkansas (42-17) secured a regional with its run to the championship game in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky (39-20) earned a regional for the second time, and first since 2006, after winning 19 SEC games, second-most in program history, and playing for a conference title on the final day of the regular season.
Oregon State (49-4), the country's most dominant team all season after narrowly missing the tournament in 2016, last hosted in 2014. Stanford (40-14) is one of the nation's feel-good stories, winning 21 of its last 23 games to earn a home regional in coach Mark Marquess' 41st — and final — season.
Texas Tech (43-15) and TCU (42-16) hosted regionals last year on their way to the College World Series.
Conference USA regular-season champion Southern Mississippi (48-14) is hosting for the first time since 2003 after setting a school record for wins. Big West champion Long Beach State (37-17-1) is in the tournament for the third time in four years, but will host its first regional since 2008.
Houston (40-19), which won the American Athletic Conference Tournament and shared the AAC regular-season title, will play a home regional for the second time in three years.
Winners in the double-elimination regionals advance to the eight, best-of-three super regionals. Those winners move on to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series, which starts June 17.
Posted on Mon, May 29, 2017
by By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer