For the first time, there will be three regional hosts in the state of North Carolina in the NCAA baseball tournament.
North Carolina, East Carolina and N.C. State will each host the opening round of the NCAA tournament starting on Friday.
The NCAA announced the 16 first-round sites on Sunday night. The 64-team field and the national seeds (No. 1 through 16 this year for the first time) will be announced on Monday at noon (ESPNU).
Freshly-minted conference champion Florida State and Clemson will also host from the ACC. The ACC and SEC led all conference with four host teams. Georgia, Texas, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, Stetson, Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Stanford are the other host sites.
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The Tar Heels (38-18) won the Coastal Division and tied with Clemson for the best record in the ACC during the regular-season. This is the 10th time they have been selected as a regional host and second year in a row.
N.C. State (40-16) won eight of its 10 ACC series, including ones over Duke and Louisville — who were likely also considered to host. This is the sixth time the Wolfpack will be a regional host and second time in three years.
The Pirates (43-16) won the American Athletic title this week in Clearwater, Fla. and had a 3-1 record against the ACC this season, including a series win over UNC.
This is the fourth time ECU will be a regional host, second time in Greenville and first since 2009.
The games are scheduled to start on Friday and run through Monday, if necessary. It’s a double-elimination format with four teams at each regional site.
The winners advance to the Super Regional round and the eight Super Regional winners play through to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
It has already been a big season in the state for college baseball with the Tar Heels, Pirates, Wolfpack and Blue Devils spending a lot of time together in the top 10.
UNC-Wilmington (Colonial Athletic Association), Campbell (Big South) and North Carolina A&T (MEAC) each won its respective conference championship and will be in the 64-team bracket.
Under the 64-team format, the state has had two schools host in the same year — N.C. State and UNC in both 2012 and ’13 and UNC and ECU in 2009 — but not three.