Regional hosts selected. Did Southern Miss earn the honor with golden performance?
Published 8:32 pm Sunday, May 28, 2023
The Road to Omaha runs through the southeast but will bypass Mississippi despite a golden season and conference championship won by Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles’ RPI is higher than several of the host teams.
Eight Southeastern Conference schools, four from the Atlantic Coast Conference and one from the Sun Belt were among the 16 selected Sunday as host sites for the regional round of the NCAA Tournament. The SEC hosts are LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Auburn.
Vanderbilt won the SEC tournament championship on Sunday by beating Texas A&M 10-4. Wake Forest, which is ranked No. 1 in all the major polls, led the list of ACC teams. It was joined by Virginia, Miami, and Clemson.
Coastal Carolina, the Sun Belt Conference regular-season champion, will also get to host during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. It is ranked No. 7 in the NCAA’s RPI rankings.
Southern Miss (41-17) won the Sun Belt tournament on Sunday and is ranked No. 16 in the NCAA’s RPI rankings but was passed over as a host site. Oklahoma State (No. 18), Auburn (19), Alabama (24), Kentucky (25) all entered last week ranked lower than Southern Miss in the RPI rankings.
Southern Miss did, however, earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Sun Belt tournament. It will be among the 64 teams called when the full bracket is revealed Monday. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
The four host schools outside of the SEC/ACC/Sun Belt footprints are Oklahoma State, Indiana State and Stanford. Stanford is hosting a regional for the sixth consecutive tournament.
NCAA TOURNAMENT SELECTION SHOW
- Monday, May 29
- 11 a.m., ESPN2