Texas, Texas Tech and TCU baseball all earn No. 1 seeds in NCAA Event

The highly-anticipated seeding for the 2021 NCAA baseball tournament was released on Monday.

The top teams following No. 1 overall national seed Arkansas: Texas (42-15), Tennessee (45-16), Vanderbilt (40-15), Arizona (40-15), TCU (40-17), Mississippi State (40-15) and Texas Tech (36-15).

The 64-team tournament opens Friday in 16 regionals where the winners advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners will move on to the College World Series in Omaha. The top eight national seeds are assured of hosting super regionals if they win their individual regionals.

Texas has its highest national seed since it was No. 2 in 2010, and the program will be making its NCAA-best 60th appearance in the tournament.

Here’s a look at some other area schools to make the field:

No. 1 seed TCU (40-17) vs. No. 4 seed McNeese State (32-28) in Fort Worth

One path to Omaha will pass through Fort Worth — a right the Horned Frogs solidified by winning the Big 12 Conference championship on Sunday. The team is led offensively by Phillip Sikes, who has 11 homers, 60 RBI and a 1.077 OPS. McNeese State won the Southland Conference title for the second consecutive postseason.

No. 1 Texas (42-15) vs. No. 4 Southern (20-28) in Austin

Texas is the No. 2 overall seed and has a favorable regional as a whole. The Longhorns finished 17-7 in the Big 12 and had a midseason stretch of 16 consecutive wins. The Longhorns have a reliable crop of starters, all of whom have an ERA below 4.00. Southern is one of the weakest teams in the field, and hasn’t won a single game against a Top 100 team so far this season.

No. 1 Texas Tech (36-15) vs. No. 4 Army (28-23) in Lubbock

Much like Texas, the Red Raiders also started out the season 0-3, but rebounded to be one of the most dominant teams in the sport. Texas Tech went through a 20-1 stretch this season where it defeated Gonzaga, UConn, South Florida and Oklahoma State — all NCAA Tournament teams. Army is an NCAA Tournament regular, but lost 13 games this year to teams outside the Top 200.

No. 2 Oklahoma State (37-15-1) vs. No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (39-18)

The Cowboys have a strong RPI, but did struggle against the best teams they faced this year, going 1-2 against Vanderbilt, 1-2 against Texas, 0-3 against TCU and 1-2 against Texas Tech. But they rallied to make the conference tournament finals. UC Santa Barbara was one of the final teams in the field despite having an RPI outside the Top 50.

No. 3 Dallas Baptist (37-15) vs. No. 2 Oregon State (34-22) in Fort Worth

Dallas Baptist was placed in the Fort Worth regional, as expected, following its Missouri Valley Conference championship on Sunday. The Patriots dominated in the conference, but played just one team in the RPI Top 25. Dallas Baptist actually hosted Oregon State in the 2015 regional. The Beavers won the national championship in 2018.

First team out: Baylor (31-20)

Baylor was the first team left out of the field, according to the selection committee. The Bears were 15-13 against teams in the RPI Top 100. Alabama, which made the field, was 13-19 against the Top 100. Baylor would be first in line to replace any team that can’t play its regional because of failure to clear COVID-19 testing protocols.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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