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No defending champion Coastal Carolina, no 44th straight time for Miami, top seed is Oregon State as NCAA Division I baseball tournament begins

Arnie Leshin

FSU back for 40th time in a row, Florida Gulf Coast and Davidson in for initial time, Yale and West Virginia return for first time in two decades

By Arnie Leshin

No University of Miami? The one in South Florida? Believe it, for the first time in 44 years, the Canes will be missing the annual NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

No Region that they usually host, no region to even play in. The 64-school field without Miami. With this, state-rival Florida State now has the longest streak as it plays in its 40th national tournament.

It’s the 26th invite for Cal-State Fullerton, the 23rd for Rice, and the first for Florida Gulf Coast and Davidson. Yale returns for the first time since 1993 and West Virginia for the first time since 1996.

If you’re looking for defending champion Coastal Carolina, you won’t find it back in the field after winning over Arizona last year in Omaha, Neb. It lost the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament to Florida Gulf Coast, which gets in as an automatic qualifier.

The tourney gets underway Thursday with 16 regions. In Baton Rouge, 4th seeded LSU (43-17) will play host to Texas Southern (20-32), Southeastern Louisiana (36-20) and Rice (31-29). In Chapel Hill, 2nd seeded North Carolina (47-12) is hosting Davidson (32-24), Florida Gulf Coast (42-18) and Michigan (42-15).

At Clemson, the Tigers (39-19) are the host in a field of UNCG (35-22),

Vanderbilt (33-22) and St. John’s (42-11). In the Corvallis Regional, top-seeded Oregon State (49-4) gets to host versus Holy Cross (23-27), Nebraska (35-20) and Yale (32-16).

The Fayetteville Region’s host is Arkansa s (42-17) and it will face Oral Roberts (42-14), Missouri State (40-17) and Oklahoma State (30-25). The Fort Worth Region is hosted by TCU (42-16) and with a field of Central Connecticut (36-20), Virginia (42-14) and DBU (40-19).

In Gainesville, 3rd seeded Florida (42-16) hosts against Marist (32-21), South Florida (41-17) and Bethune-Cookman (32-23). Southern Mississippi (48-14) is hosting the Hattiesburg Region that includes Illinois-Chicago (39-15), Mississippi State (36-24) and South Alabama (39-19).

In the Houston Regional hosted by Houston (40-19), there’s also Iowa (38-20), Baylor (34-21) and Texas A & M (36-21). In Lexington, the region host is Kentucky (39-20) and it goes against Indiana (33-22), Ohio (31-26) and North Carolina State (34-23).

The Long Beach Regional has Long Beach State (37-17-1) as its host and includes San Diego State (41-19, Texas (37-22) and UCLA (30-25). In Louisville, the 7th seeded Cardinals (47-10) play host in a field of Radford (2 7-30), Oklahoma (34-22) and Xavier (32-25).

In Lubbock, 5th seeded Texas Tech (43-15) in the host versus Delaware (34-21), Arizona (37-19) and Sam Houston State (40-20). The 8th seeded Stanford (40-14) hosts its own region against the likes of Sacramento State (32-27), Cal-State Fullerton (34-21) and BYU (37-19.

The Tallahassee Region has FSU (39-20) as its host, along with Tennessee Tech (40-19), UCF (40-20) and Auburn (36-24). And in Winston Salem, it will be Wake Forest (39-18) as host against UMBC (22-23), West Virginia (34-24) and Maryland (37-21).

The only thing that is certain is that there will be a new national champion at Omaha.

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