The complete 64-team field for the college baseball tournament has been announced, and while Ole Miss will host a regional at Swayze this weekend, the Rebs did not land a coveted national seed.
Instead, that fourth SEC national seed went to LSU, a team with a nearly identical resume and a team the Rebs beat two out of three times this season. Look, I get that head-to-head isn't everything—teams change over the course of a season—but when two resumes are close as these two, the deciding factor should be what they did against each other on the field. LSU was just one game better in-conference and won just two more games against top 50 RPI teams.
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Instead, the selection committee used the hot streak factor to decide between the two. LSU closed the season with a 14-2 run, including three wins over Florida and an appearance in the SEC Tournament semis. Momentum should certainly be a factor, but I just don't think its enough to overcome the head-to-head. It's not like Ole Miss limped into the postseason: the Rebs won four of their last five weekends series and made it to the conference tourney semis themselves. They won 11 of their last 16, with four of those losses coming to eventual SEC champ Texas A&M.
So instead of landing a national seed, the Rebs will be paired with No. 3 national seed Miami for an eventual super. But just getting out of the regional will be tough—here's Ole Miss' draw:
Oxford regional group
- Ole Miss (43-17)
- Tulane (39-19)
- Boston College (31-20)
- Utah (25-27)
So Ole Miss' four seed won the damn Pac-12. Granted, the conference is waaaaay down this season, but that's still one hell of a four seed.
Boy, that’s a tough draw for Ole Miss. Not only do Rebels get denied a national seed, but they get the Pac-12 champ as their 4 seed...— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 30, 2016
And the three seed is from the ACC (the country's No. 1 RPI conference)—BC went 13-15 in conference play but took series against regional hosts Louisville, Virginia and NC State. Then there's Tulane, which is 6-1 against RPI top 25 teams and is 4-0 in midweek games against LSU and Southern Miss.
The Rebs will open the regional this Friday against Utah, then play a double-elimination mini-tournament over the weekend to decide who advances to a super regional.