NC State's Avent on advantages of hosting NCAA regional baseball tournament
N.C. State, UNC and East Carolina are three of the 16 regional host sites, the NCAA announced Sunday night.
The rest of the field, including Duke, Campbell, North Carolina A&T and UNCW, will find out where they will play and learn their opponents when tournament teams, seeding and brackets are announced during the selection show Monday at noon on ESPNU.
We will update this blog live as announcements are made. Check back for more.
N.C. State vs. Army
Raleigh regional, Friday at 7 p.m.
The Wolfpack (40-16) are a No. 16 overall seed, but still will host a regional, something that didn't come as a surprise to the players. “We knew that after the season we had — having 40 wins, third in the ACC and winning 8 of 10 series — we felt like we were in a pretty good spot.," senior right fielder Brock Deatherage said. "We felt good about our chances and we were rewarded for that.”
Veteran skipper Elliott Avent knows being at home helps, but it still boils down to how you perform on the field.
“It’s about how you play," Avent said. "How you play is more important than where you play.”
It's the second time in three years N.C. State has hosted a regional. Friday's meeting will be the first ever between the Wolfpack and the Black Knights (36-22).
Campbell vs. Georgia
Athens regional, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Camels (35-24) will be making their third overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2014. They will take on No. 1 seed Georgia (37-19). Campbell defeated High Point, 7-5, in the Big South Tournament Championship game.
East Carolina vs. UNC-Wilmington
Greenville regional, Friday at 7 p.m.
The Pirates (43-16) will be making their 29th overall trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Seahawks (37-21) earned an automatic bid by winning the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.
Duke vs. Troy
Athens Regional, Friday at 2 p.m.
The Blue Devils are the No. 2 seed in the Athens, Ga., Regional where Georgia is the top seed in the four-team, double-elimination bracket. The host Bulldogs are seeded No. 8 nationally.
Duke (40-15) will begin play against the regional's No 3 seed, Sun Belt Conference champion Troy (41-19), on Friday at Foley Field. Georgia (37-19) meets fourth-seeded Campbell (35-24), the Big South champion, that night. Friday's losing teams will meet Saturday morning in an elimination game while the two winners from Friday will play later Saturday.
Duke is in the NCAA Tournament field for the second time in three seasons. Prior to that, the Blue Devils hadn't played in the NCAA baseball tournament since 1961.
"It's exciting," Duke coach Chris Pollard said. "A couple of years ago, our goal was to get in. We talked a lot about having the opportunity to play baseball in June and what that meant. That meant you were a part of the tournament. This group has never set their sights from the beginning of the year on just making the NCAA Tournament. From the very beginning of the year they had loftier goals. Now we are in that next step of the journey about obtaining some of those loftier goals."
North Carolina vs. North Carolina A&T
Chapel Hill regional, Friday at 2 p.m.
The Tar Heels (38-18) will be making their 31st appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 17th under head coach Mike Fox. North Carolina defeated North Carolina A&T (32-23), 1-0 on March 13.