NCAA Baseball Regionals 2014: South Carolina will host Columbia Regional

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

South Carolina was selected as one of 16 national host sites for the regionals round of the NCAA Tournament.

As expected, the NCAA Division I selection committee named South Carolina as one of the 16 schools that will host a regional tournament. The Gamecocks will learn on Monday whether or not they will also host a super regional. USC was on the bubble for a top eight seed and the chance to host a super regional heading into the SEC Tournament, but did not help its case by getting bounced after just two games.

This marks the fifth year in a row and 16th time in school history that Columbia will be a regional host site. In the past four seasons of regional play at Carolina Stadium, the Gamecocks have gone 12-0.

Five of this year's hosts come from the SEC. The 15 other regional hosts are Cal-Poly, Florida, FSU, Indiana, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Rice, TCU, Virginia, and Vanderbilt. Most of these were pretty unsurprising, with the only moderately surprising host being Louisville.

The full field of 64 teams will be announced Monday at noon on ESPNU, so that's when we'll know who's coming to Columbia. We can rest assured that the team from the Upstate is almost assuredly not going to be making the trip again, though. That's because 1) they aren't even guaranteed to be in postseason play and 2) everyone and their mother is opposed to that match-up happening in the regional round for the third-straight year.

Whether or not South Carolina gets one of the coveted national seeds depends on how many seeds the SEC gets, and also on how the committee weighs a team's record, injuries, RPI/strength of schedule, etc. I think it's unlikely that we'll see the Gamecocks be chosen as a national seed, although I won't rule it out completely. Some thoughts from Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game:

However, Perfect Game has the SEC only getting two national seeds, with USC missing out in favor of Florida and LSU.  With reference to Rogers' tweets, TCU gets a national seed as well. PG projects the Columbia Regional to feature the Gamecocks as the No. 1 seed, Maryland as the 2-seed, College of Charleston as the No. 3 seed, and Georgia Southern as the 4-seed.

Baseball America also has the Tigers and Gators as the SEC's two national seeds, again leaving Carolina out, with TCU getting a national seed, too. BA predicts the Columbia Regional to have the Gamecocks the No. 1 seed, Georgia Tech as the 2-seed, Kennesaw State as the No. 3 seed, and Campbell as the 4-seed.

Regardless of what happens with national seeding, and given the amount of injuries/sickness the Gamecocks dealt with this year, it's a solid accomplishment to be hosting a regional. Now, though, USC is going to have to find the offense that seemed to elude it at times this season, and hopefully avoid any further health problems, if it wants to make a deep run in the postseason.

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