NCAA Announces 16 Regional Host SitesPostseason
The NCAA released its 16 Regional host sites Sunday night, and there was just one mild surprise with South Carolina getting a host site over other suitors such as Gonzaga, Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Southern Miss.
A few weeks ago, the NCAA released a list of 20 potential regional hosts, but some things have changed since that point. Pittsburgh went on a rough skid and dropped out of hosting contention, Southern Miss lost to Louisiana Tech twice in the conference tournament, thus moving behind the Bulldogs in the pecking order and Gonzaga dropped to 26 in the RPI after dropping two of three to San Diego at home this weekend.
Those occurrences, along with likely one-seed Old Dominion needing somewhere relatively close travel to next weekend, led to the Gamecocks hosting a regional in Columbia. The other potential option was for NC State to head to Gastonia, N.C. (Charlotte hosting) as the top seed, but the Pack probably needed to win the ACC tournament title game to earn that honor — they lost a thriller to Duke. That option was on the board.
On the surface, it would be easy to have an issue with the Gamecocks hosting. After all, they went 16-15 in SEC aggregate contests and finished the regular season losing four of their last five series, including getting blown out by Alabama in the first game of the SEC tournament. However, with the negatives, you also must illustrate the positives — the Gamecocks had a very solid RPI of 18, along with the nation’s No. 2 strength of schedule and nine wins vs. RPI Top 25 clubs to go with 11 wins vs. RPI Top 50 clubs. Sure, there are holes to be poked into South Carolina’s hosting case, but two things are likely to be true: South Carolina won’t be the No. 1 seed in its tournament and Gonzaga dropping to 26 in the RPI along with its distance from Norfolk, Va. (ODU) played a part. We’re still in a pandemic economy, so the idea of sending ODU on a plane to Spokane, Wash., likely didn’t sit well with the committee considering Columbia is just 385 miles away.
Here are your 16 Regional hosts:
Austin, Texas (Texas) — 42-15
Columbia, S.C. (South Carolina) — 33-21
Eugene, Oregon (Oregon) — 37-14
Fayetteville, Ark. (Arkansas) — 45-10
Fort Worth, Texas (TCU) — 39-17
Gainesville, Fla. (Florida) — 38-20
Greenville, N.C. (East Carolina) — 41-15
Knoxville, Tenn. (Tennessee) — 45-15
Lubbock, Texas (Texas Tech) — 36-15
Nashville, Tenn. (Vanderbilt) — 40-15
Oxford, Miss. (Ole Miss) — 41-19
Ruston, La. (Louisiana Tech) — 40-17
South Bend, Ind. (Notre Dame) — 30-11
Stanford, Calif. (Stanford) — 33-14
Starkville, Miss. (Mississippi State) — 40-15
Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona) — 40-15