The NCAA has announced the 16 sites to host first-round, four-team Regionals this coming weekend and Dudy Noble Field is on the list. As expected. A record-setting run through the SEC regular season, concluding in a conference championship, clinched hosting privileges for Bulldog baseball.
All hosts of course are part of the NCAA’s 64-team baseball tournament. Now, the University and Diamond Dog team must wait to Monday’s 11:00am (CT) presentation of the full field, showing where the other 48 participants have been assigned…
…and which eight programs have won a coveted national seed. As SEC Champions, featuring an elite-level RPI and solid schedule strength, popular presumption is Mississippi State will be in that number. Which means should the Bulldogs survive their own first-round regional weekend they automatically will host the super regional round against the winner of whichever non-national seed regional winner is paired up with Starkville.
This will be the 13th time Dudy Noble Field has hosted a NCAA regional, under all formats. The first was in 1979, and that Bulldog team took advantage by winning the regional and advancing to the College World Series.
Other years that Mississippi State used a hosted regional as the fast track to Omaha were 1985, 1990, 1997 under one format. In 2013 the Bulldogs also won a home regional but had to win a super regional round as well, at Virginia, to make the Series.
Since the super format began in 1999, there has been only one super regional at Dudy Noble Field. That was in 2007 when the Bulldogs scored an upset at Florida State and by virtue of being a stronger #2 seed they hosted Clemson. State won that best-of-three affair in two games to advance to Omaha.
Mississippi State has split hosted regionals, winning six and being eliminated from the NCAAs in the other six. In both first- and super rounds State has a 84 win, 58 loss record including the even-older District format used up to the mid-1970s.
The regional schedule will be announced by HailState.com. Ticket sales began a week ago at $90 per. There are no free or student tickets for NCAA tournament events.
Seven SEC programs are hosting this year, which is the most regionals ever given one conference. Joining State are West rivals Texas A&M, LSU, and Ole Miss; with Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt from the East side.