No. 10 Ole Miss was awarded its sixth regional host in program history when the 16 sites were announced Sunday night. The rest of the 64-team tournament field was revealed on Monday with Washington, Georgia Tech and Jacksonville State set to travel to Oxford to round out the four-team regional. The Huskies will be the No. 2 seed, Georgia Tech will be the No. 3 seed and the Gamecocks will be the fourth seed.
The Rebels (41-18) will take on Jacksonville State (36-25) on Friday at 7 p.m. Washington (39-15-1) and Georgia Tech (36-25) will play the first game of the double-elimination tournament at 3 p.m. The championship will be played Sunday night with an if-necessary game slated for Monday.
“We’re excited to be playing at home in June,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said in a statement. “It’s certainly a great reward, but one that we feel is very deserved by this team that has played so well and consistently over the course of the season. It’s great to have baseball in Oxford in June again to reward the Rebel Nation for the support they have shown us and the role they play in our success.”
The only real drama surrounding Monday’s selections was whether Ole Miss would receive a top eight national seed, which allows teams which win their regional to host the best-of-three super regionals. The Rebels, who won the SEC Western Division title but went just 1-2 in last week’s conference tournament, didn’t get the nod.
Other regional hosts are LSU (44-14-1), Florida (40-21), South Carolina (42-16), Vanderbilt (41-18), Virginia (44-13), Florida State (43-15), Oregon State (42-12), Louisville (45-15), Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7), Cal Poly (45-10), Indiana (42-13), TCU (42-15), Miami (41-17), Oklahoma State (45-16) and Rice (41-18). LSU, Florida, Florida State, Virginia, Oregon State, Indiana, Louisiana-Lafayette and TCU got national seeds.
The winner of the Oxford regional will get a super regional matchup with the Lafayette regional winner, where host Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State are the top two seeds.
Getting there won’t be easy for Ole Miss. Washington, No. 24 in the Warren Nolan RPI, has 14 top 100 RPI wins, half of those coming over top 50 teams. The Huskies finished runner-up in the Pac 12 and won series against fellow tournament teams Oregon, Arizona State and Stanford.
Georgia Tech (No. 32 RPI) is 11-10 against the RPI top 50, including series wins over Florida State, Miami and North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with a 9-4 win over Maryland on Sunday. Jacksonville State, which won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title, comes in at No. 98 in the RPI and owns a series win over fellow tournament team Kennesaw State as well as a non-conference victory over Mississippi State.
See Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete NCAA selection coverage. (May 26, 2014)