The 64-team field for the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship tourney has been unveiled, with play scheduled to begin this Friday.
The national top eight seeds are Florida (42-18), UCLA (42-14), Florida State (43-15), Baylor (44-14), Oregon (42-17), North Carolina (44-14), LSU (43-16) and South Carolina (40-17). All eight seeds will be hosting first-round games in their ballparks. You can view the brackets here.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) led all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with eight, while the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has seven institutions. The Pacific-12 has five and the Big 12 and Conference USA each has four selected.
Only one minor-league or independent-league ballpark is hosting first-round games: and U.S. Steel Yard, home of the Gary SouthShore RailCats (independent; American Association), on behalf of the Big Ten's Purdue University. (PK Park, used in the summer by the Northwest League's Eugene Ems, is also hosting first-round games.) Another notable ballpark hosting first-round action: Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.
“This is a win-win situation for Purdue, the NCAA, the RailCats organization, the City of Gary and all of Northwest Indiana,” RailCats Owner Pat Salvi said. “Being selected as one of 16 ballparks nationwide to host an NCAA Regional is a great acknowledgement of the beautiful ballpark and facilities at U. S. Steel Yard, which are second to none.”
“The RailCats organization is proud to host such a prestigious event at beautiful U. S. Steel Yard,” RailCats President/GM Kevin Spudic said. “Baseball fans from the Region and beyond have a unique opportunity to see high-level college baseball this weekend and we welcome them to enjoy a great event at an outstanding venue.”
Purdue was selected as the host school for the Regional after winning their first Big Ten regular season title since 1909 and first Big Ten tournament title in school history.
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