Regional Host Sites For 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament Announced
The selection committee on Sunday announced the 16 regional host sites for the NCAA Tournament.
The schools hosting regionals will be Arizona, Arkansas, East Carolina, Florida, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oregon, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Christian, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. The full bracket for the NCAA Tournament will be released Monday at noon.
The 16 sites for regionals were chosen from a shortlist of 20 potential hosts that the selection committee announced earlier this month. The four schools from the initial list not to end up hosting regionals are Charlotte, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh and Southern Mississippi.
While the shortlist had a few surprises in it at the time, the same cannot be said of the final 16 hosts. They match the most recent projection from Baseball America.
The selection process for host sites changed this year to accommodate the need to create a coronavirus testing lab at each host site. The process to set the lab up and ensure it is operating correctly takes longer than the typical five-day notice host sites get, so the selection committee needed to pick host sites a few weeks early.
While South Carolina is hosting it is not expected to be a No. 1 seed in its regional. Old Dominion, which on Sunday won the Conference USA Tournament and has a top-10 RPI, will likely be the top seed in the Columbia Regional. The Monarchs did not bid to host regionals this year.
A traveling No. 1 seed would be unconventional in the modern version of the NCAA Tournament. The selection committee has not sent a top seed on the road since 2010 when Florida State was the No. 1 seed in the Norwich Regional, hosted by Connecticut. It previously was a more common part of the NCAA Tournament, but as more schools have invested more money in their facilities, more schools have met the hosting requirements.
It will also be interesting to see if a second traveling No. 1 seed is used this year. Oklahoma State did not earn a spot on the shortlist of 20 sites but could still earn a No. 1 seed with a win in the Big 12 Tournament championship game against Texas Christian. In that case, the Cowboys could be the top seed in the Ruston Regional.