BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss baseball fans were hoping the Golden Eagles (36-18-1) would get into the field of 64. It didn't happen despite being ranked No. 52 in the RPI rankings. The committee viewed the pluses and minuses and chose three teams from Conference USA. Florida International (29-29) cost Southern Miss by winning the C-USA Tournament on Sunday over UAB.
FIU will open up against top-seeded Miami (44-14) in the Coral Gables Regional as the No. 4 seed. FIU was ranked No. 152 in the RPI rankings. Rice (35-20) is the No. 2 seed in the Houston Regional and will face UL-Lafayette (39-21) in the Houston Regional.
Florida Atlantic (40-17) received the No. 2 seed in the Gainesville Regional and will go up against No. 3 seed South Florida (33-24-1).
Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry says he's upset and thought his Golden Eagles did enough to earn a berth among the 64 teams.
"I think that they (Selection Committee) were afraid to take four teams from our league, honestly, "stated Berry. "What certainly killed us was some of the games, particularly yesterday... Michigan winning. Texas winning. Lipscomb the day before beating North Florida. And then our own conference. I'm very happy for FIU but we needed Rice or FAU or ourselves to win that one."
Ole Miss (30-26) cracked the field of 64 and will head West to the Los Angeles Regional... a date with No. 3 seed Maryland (49-21) on Friday at 6 p.m. CST. The Rebels have a No. 27 RPI ranking. 2013 National Champion UCLA (42-17) is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and will battle Cal State Bakersfield (36-22-1) in game one of the Los Angeles Regional on Friday.
Bianco says he knows very little about the Maryland baseball team but did say he knows they have a very good pitcher who was a member of the USA Team. He's just glad to know when and where his Rebels will be going.
"There's so much coverage I think on college baseball and so many projections, you realize that nobody really knows until it's announced, "said Bianco. "I think I'm more relieved to finally know where you're going and now you can get scouting reports together and travel plans."
He added that UCLA is very deserving of it's number one seed in the tournament and the Bruins have always been known for pitching and this year UCLA has been hitting the ball consistently.
LSU (48-10) is the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament and the Tigers will host the Baton Rouge Regional facing Lehigh (25-29) 3:00 p.m. Friday. Tulane (34-23) received a bid to the Baton Rouge Regional as the No. 3 seed and the Green Wave will take a swing at No. 2 seed UNC-Wilmington (39-15) starting 7:00 p.m. Friday.
Tigers coach Paul Maineri thought his team was worthy enough to receive the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament because that would have been the first time in LSU baseball history it received the top-ranking in the NCAA Tournament. However, he says his team must get ready for Lehigh and take it one game at a time. Last season LSU had jumped out to a big lead over Houston in the Super Regionals only to have the Cougars beat LSU in Baton Rouge and gain a berth in the 2014 CWS.