C-USA Sends Three Teams to NCAA Baseball Championship
May 25, 2009
Conference USA has received three bids to the 2009 NCAA Baseball Championship, as announced by the Division I baseball committee on Monday. East Carolina will host the Greenville Regional as the No. 1 seed, Rice will be the No. 1 seed and host the Houston Regional, while Southern Miss will be the No. 3 seed in the Atlanta Regional, hosted by Georgia Tech.
Conference USA regular season champion East Carolina (42-17) will be in the NCAA Championship for the tenth time in 11 seasons and host a regional for the third time in school history. The Pirates will open regional play against Binghamton (29-20), champions of the America East Conference, in its opening game. South Carolina (38-21) will play George Mason (42-12), in the other Friday game in that regional.
Rice (39-15) won the Conference USA tournament title, extending its streak of consecutive regular season and/or tournament titles to 14. The Owls will be hosting a regional for the eighth time in nine years as it makes its 15th consecutive NCAA appearance. The Owls will open regional play against a familiar foe from up the road when it battles Southland Conference tournament champion Sam Houston State (36-22) in its first game on Friday night. The teams met in last year's NCAA regional opener, with Rice winning, 3-2. The Owls will then play either No. 2 seed Kansas State (41-16-1 or Atlantic 10 tournament champion Xavier (38-19).
Southern Miss (35-23) will be playing in the NCAA Championship for the seventh consecutive season. The third-seeded Golden Eagles are matched up with second-seeded Elon (40-16) on Friday. Georgia Tech (35-17-1) will play Georgia State (39-20) in the other game in Atlanta.
The national top eight seeds are Texas (41-13-1), Cal State Fullerton (42-14), LSU (46-16), North Carolina (42-16), Arizona St. (44-12), UC Irvine (43-13), Oklahoma (41-18) and Florida (39-20).
The 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records are as follows: Arizona State (43-12 through Saturday, May 23), Tempe, Ariz.; UC Irvine (42-13 through Saturday, May 23), Irvine, Calif.; Cal State Fullerton (41-14 through Saturday, May 23), Fullerton, Calif.; Clemson (40-19), Clemson, S.C.; East Carolina (42-17), Greenville, N.C.; Florida (39-20), Gainesville, Fla.; Florida St. (42-15 through Saturday, May 23), Tallahassee, Fla.; Georgia Tech (35-17-1), Atlanta; LSU (45-16 through Saturday, May 23), Baton Rouge, La.; Louisville (44-15), Louisville, Ky.; Mississippi (40-17), Oxford, Miss.; North Carolina (42-16), Chapel Hill, N.C.; Oklahoma (41-18), Norman, Okla.; Rice (39-15), Houston; Texas (40-13-1 through Saturday, May 23), Austin, Texas; TCU (36-16), Fort Worth, Texas.
Each regional field features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 29, to Monday, June 1.
Thirty Division I conferences receive an automatic berth in the field of 64, along with 34 at-large selections. The 63rd Men's College World Series begins play Saturday, June 13, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.
The three bids to the 2009 NCAA Championship gives Conference USA 47 NCAA appearances in its first 14 seasons. Nine straight years a C-USA team has advanced to a Super Regional and five times a team has reached the College World Series.
Conference USA in the 2009 NCAA Championship