With host sites set, where will Tigers, Demons head for NCAA baseball?
The NCAA will announce the field of 64 for the Division I baseball championship Monday, and it will include two teams from Louisiana – the LSU Tigers, who solidified their spot in the field with a run to the finals of the SEC tournament, and the Northwestern State Demons, who won the Southland Conference tournament for the first time Saturday.
What did we learn from the announcement of 16 regional hosts Sunday night? If you missed it, here’s the full list of hosts, which will likely be the No. 1 seeds in each regional and for the first time this year will be seeded 1-16 in the bracket, instead of 1-8.
• Athens, Georgia – Georgia (37-19)
• Austin, Texas – Texas (37-20)
• Chapel Hill, North Carolina – North Carolina (38-18)
• Clemson, South Carolina – Clemson (45-14)
• Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon State (44-10-1)
• Conway, South Carolina – Coastal Carolina (42-17)
• DeLand, Florida – Stetson (45-11)
• Fayetteville, Arkansas – Arkansas (39-18)
• Gainesville, Florida – Florida (42-17)
• Greenville, North Carolina – East Carolina (43-16)
• Minneapolis, Minnesota ¬– Minnesota (41-13)
• Lubbock, Texas – Texas Tech (39-17)
• Oxford, Mississippi – Ole Miss (46-15)
• Raleigh, North Carolina – NC State (40-16)
• Stanford, California – Stanford (44-10)
• Tallahassee, Florida – Florida State (43-17)
Where will the Tigers and Demons end up?
The only places LSU cannot get sent are to SEC schools for regionals – Florida, Georgia, Arkansas or Ole Miss. Of the other 12 regional sites, all are at least 400 miles from Baton Rouge. The closest non-SEC regionals to Baton Rouge, Texas and Florida State, miss the mark by less than 30 miles.
The 400-mile threshold is significant. If a trip is less than 400 miles, they must travel by bus. Longer trips require a flight, which of course is more expensive.
What it means is LSU can end up basically anywhere. The last time the Tigers made the postseason and didn’t host, it was sent west to UCLA.
On the other hand, there are three destinations that meet the 400-mile threshold for Northwestern – Texas, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
In its final projected field of 64, D1Baseball.com has LSU as a No. 2 seed at Texas and Northwestern State as a No. 4 seed at Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Baseball America’s final guesses at the field send the Tigers to Minneapolis as a No. 2 seed and the Demons outside of the 400-mile range to Stetson’s regional as a No. 4 seed in Deland, Fla.
The last of the host site selections – Coastal Carolina, East Carolina and Texas – went to schools which either won their league’s regular season or conference tournament titles.
The announcement of the bracket comes at 11 a.m. Monday on ESPNU.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…