Three Big 12 schools are among the top eight national seeds in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The field was announced Monday.
No. 2 Texas, No. 6 TCU and No. 8 Texas Tech will all host regionals starting Friday and host again in the super regionals if they advance.
Texas (42-15, 17-7) has its highest national seed since it was No. 2 in 2010, and the program will be making its NCAA-best 60th appearance in the tournament. Arizona State, Fairfield and Southern will play in the Austin regional.
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TCU (40-17, 17-7) won the Big 12 Conference tournament Sunday night, defeating Oklahoma State 10-7. The Fort Worth regional will include Oregon State, Dallas Baptist and McNeese State.
Texas Tech (36-15, 14-10) will host UCLA, North Carolina and Army in Lubbock. The Red Raiders feature Big 12 Player of the Year Jace Jung, the younger brother of Texas Rangers prospect Josh Jung.
Oklahoma State was the Big 12's only other team to earn a tournament berth. The Cowboys will play in the Tucson Regional, hosted by Arizona.
The 64-team tournament opens Friday in 16 regionals. Winners advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha.
Baylor would be first in line to replace any team that can't play its regional because of failure to clear COVID-19 testing protocols.
Stetson athletic director Jeff Altier, the Division I Baseball Committee chairman, said varying scheduling strategies because of the pandemic made the task of selecting at-large teams extremely difficult.
Altier said the opinions of regional advisory committees weighed heavily in the decision-making. Typically the RPI, or rating percentage index, helps the committee decipher teams' comparative strengths, but it wasn't as useful this year because several conferences didn't play outside their leagues.
"It was an incredibly difficult year," Altier said. "Nobody experienced COVID before. We look at the RPI as a tremendous metric for us to help us evaluate, and in a year where you cannot play everybody across the conferences as typically you would do, it makes it difficult to choose."
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