NCAA Baseball Tournament Bracket Announced: Where are SEC Teams Headed?

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

Most of the announcement is in line with expectations; Vanderbilt and LSU get national seeds while Auburn is left out of the field entirely

Nine teams will go to the NCAA baseball tournament, two as national seeds. But the potential tenth team in the field, Auburn, will stay home.

In the NCAA baseball tournament bracket just announced, all of the teams eligible for the bracket made it except for Auburn and Kentucky, a team that no one really expected to make the field. In all, nothing about the announcement was terribly surprising; some of the seeds and pairings for other teams might have been in slightly different order than we expected, but Auburn was the most bubbly of bubble teams.

The total of nine teams in the field of 64 is still tied for a record, and still the tops among all conferences, clocking in at one more than the ACC and five more than any other conference. When it comes to baseball, the SEC is still king.

Vanderbilt ended up with the No. 2 national seed, which is a spot lower than a lot of people had them. UNC got the No. 1 spot. LSU came in at No. 4 on the list of national seeds. Again, once you get a national seed, the number doesn't matter all that much; you're still going to host the regional and super regional rounds that lead to the College World Series.

As for your SEC regionals: LSU has No. 2 Lousiana-Lafayette, No. 3 Sam Houston State and No. 4 Jackson State. That's about what you'd like as a No. 4 seed. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, draws No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Illinois and No. 4 East Tennessee State. Not exactly easy.

South Carolina and Mississippi State are hosting, but got very tough draws. The Gamecocks got Clemson, Liberty and Saint Louis. The Bulldogs will face South Alabama, Mercer and Central Arkansas. Both No. 2 seeds in those regions were in the regional hosting discussion late in the season, and each SEC team lost to one of the lower seeds during the regular season. South Carolina's intrigue factor is bumped up by its region being paired with Chapel Hill, meaning the Gamecocks would have to go through two of their biggest ACC rivals to get to Omaha.

Ole Miss gets one of South Carolina's other major ACC rivals, traveling to N.C. State to play in the Raleigh Regional. The Rebels are the No. 2 seed, followed by William & Mary and Binghamton.

There are a couple of long-shot chances of getting an SEC-vs.-SEC super regional: Alabama will head to Tallahassee as the No. 2 seed (Troy and Savannah State round out the opponents for No. 1 Florida State); that regional is paired with Bloomington, which along with Florida includes host Indiana, No. 2 seed Austin Peay and No. 4 Valparaiso.

Arkansas, meanwhile, will go to Manhattan as the No. 2 seed against Kansas State; that bracket includes Bryant and Wichita State. The winner there faces the champion of the Corvallis Regional, where Texas A&M is the No. 2 seed, followed by UC Santa Barbara and Texas-San Antonio.

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