SEC matches record with 7 teams named NCAA regional hosts
Published 12:09 am Monday, May 31, 2021
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference matched its record with seven teams among 16 regional hosts announced Sunday for the NCAA baseball tournament.
The hosts have locked up spots in the national tournament, and the rest of the 64-team field will be unveiled Monday.
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.
Arkansas (46-10) is expected to be the No. 1 overall seed after sweeping the SEC regular-season and tournament championships.
Other SEC hosts are Florida (38-20), Mississippi (41-19), Mississippi State (40-15), South Carolina (33-21), Tennessee (45-16) and 2019 national champion Vanderbilt (40-15).
The Big 12 has three hosts: Texas (42-15), TCU (40-17) and Texas Tech (36-15). The Pac-12 also has three: Arizona (40-15), Oregon (37-14) and Stanford (33-14).
Notre Dame (30-11) is the only host from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
East Carolina (41-15) of the American Athletic Conference and Louisiana Tech (40-18) of Conference USA also are hosts.
A regional will be played at Texas for the 28th time, most of any team in the field. Louisiana Tech is hosting for the first time.
Four schools on the NCAA’s list of potential regional sites, released May 14, did not make the cut. Those were Charlotte, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh and Southern Mississippi.
Five of the regional sites are in states where laws have been passed mandating transgender athletes to compete according to their sex at birth as opposed to their gender identity. Those states are Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The NCAA Board of Governors last month issued a statement opposed to those laws and warned it could pass over those states when selecting sites for championship events.
The Board of Governors said it would “closely monitor” the dozens of states where transgender sports legislation has been considered, but the issue did not affect where softball or baseball regionals are played this year.