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NC State will host a regional; opponents to be announced

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Well hot dang, here's a somewhat surprising announcement: NC State in fact will host an NCAA tournament regional. I really thought the Wolfpack's rough finish to the season would trump its strong resume, but it appears the committee gave proper weight to the Pack's tough late-season schedule.

So there will be baseball in Raleigh next weekend! Now the only question is who joins the Pack there. East Carolina is a solid bet. I would not be surprised to see UNC-Wilmington in the regional as well. NC State is the only school in North Carolina hosting a regional and so it's likely the committee sends other tourney teams in the state to Raleigh.

The selection committee put a significant emphasis on RPI this year, which is why the field of regional hosts breaks down like this: Miami, NC State, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia, Louisville, LSU, Florida, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, TCU and Texas Tech.

The Pac-12 and other traditional baseball powers out west got completely shut out. It was a down year for the programs in that part of the country, and I think when the committee members looked at it closely, they couldn't justify a bid going to Arizona or Arizona State over a team in the southeast that ranked higher in the RPI and played a stronger schedule.