For the 11th in school history, MSU baseball will be hosting an NCAA baseball regional. The last year MSU hosted a regional was in 2000.
Despite a Dr. Jekyl, Mr. Hyde SEC Baseball Tournament, Mississippi State did what it had to do in the tournament to host a regional; win two games. South Carolina, the team that I felt MSU was competing against for a regional site if the NCAA only allowed 3 SEC teams to host, went 1-2 in the SEC Baseball Tournament.
With the two wins, both over Ole Miss, MSU's record went to 40-18-1, the best overall record in the SEC this year.
MSU, one of the premier host sites in the nation when it comes to regional attendance, will begin selling All-tournament tickets, Monday, at 12 p.m., at the MSU Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building. Current MSU chairback seat owners have until 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, to exercise their seating priority in the purchase of regional tournament chairback seat tickets. Chairback seats are priced at $50 each and cover all games of the tournament.
Bleacher and outfield terrace all-tournament tickets will also go on sale Tuesday, and are priced at $40 apiece. The MSU Athletic Ticket Office can be reached at 662-325-2600 or 1-888-GO-DAWGS, and regional tickets may be purchased over the counter at the Bryan Building.
The field for the 2003 NCAA Baseball Regional at Starkville will be announced Monday, May 26, at 11:30 a.m. (CT), on ESPN2.
Most people are projecting MSU to be a number 2 seed, although I would venture to guess that it is 50/50 that MSU could wind up being a number 1 seed, be it a very, very low number 1 seed. If MSU does wind up not being a number 1 seed, then the question is who will be the number 1 seed in the Starkville Regional?
Just looking at last week's polls, teams that were ranked in the top 16 who aren't hosting include South Carolina (#17, 14), Florida International (12, 13) and Arizona (15, 16). Then, if you want to make it even more confusing, add into the mix high RPI-rated schools that aren't highly rated in the polls such as Baylor (#9), Clemson (12), and North Carolina (14).
Confusing, isn't it? Just think how confusing it is to the selection committee who is currently working on this very thing.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Look for Arizona to stay out west as a number 2 seed. South Carolina, with their 1-2 record in the SEC Tournament, will wind up at the North Carolina State regional as a number 2 seed. Clemson will wind up at Georgia Tech, also as a number 2 seed. That leaves North Carolina, Baylor and Florida International as potential number 1 seeds for Starkville.
BTW, if MSU winds up as a number 1 seed, don't be surprised if Notre Dame comes in as the number 2 seed, especially if Clemson and South Carolina wind up where I project them.
Mississippi gets two host sites....
Congrats go out to Southern Miss for being selected as a host site. Not only is it a historic day for them but the state of Mississippi as well, since it is the first time in NCAA baseball tournament history that two Mississippi schools have hosted NCAA regionals during the same year. If I was a betting man, I would bet that Ole Miss winds up in this regional as a number 2 or 3 seed, probably number 3.
See you guys and gals at this weekend's regional.
[Correction: In last week's MMCB I said that the SEC has hosted 4 regionals in three of the last four years. That is incorrect. The SEC actually has hosted 4 regionals in two years, 2001 and 2002.-Gene]
Have a great Bulldog week!
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.