Tulane bounced top-seeded East Carolina out of the Conference USA tournament with a 3-0 win today. The Pirates finish 1-2 in the tournament, and I think they blew their opportunity to host a regional with the poor showing. Tulane, meanwhile, has won a pair of games and eliminated the top seed. That will be enough to get the Green Wave into a regional.
As I see it, 14 teams are in great shape to host: Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine from the Big West; Arizona State from the Pac-10; Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12; Rice from Conference USA; Texas Christian from the Mountain West (though the Frogs could be in trouble if they get bounced from the conference tournament today); Louisiana State, Florida and Mississippi from the SEC; Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson from the ACC; and Louisville from the Big East.
I still think Georgia Tech will host if it wins tomorrow against a Florida State team that has already wrapped up a trip to the conference title game, but if the Jackets go 0-3 here (giving them losses in their last five games), I think there’s in trouble. I see South Carolina as the favorite to host over East Carolina even if the Gamecocks get eliminated from the SEC tournament today. Other candidates include Ohio State (which could be tough to deny if adds a Big Ten tourney title to its regular-season championship, although I still think Indiana is going to take that one), Virginia (which has a case if it reaches the ACC title game) and San Diego State (which could have a shot at hosting as a No. 2 seed with an MWC tournament title).
My official prediction (as of 4:44 p.m. ET on Friday, subject to change by 4:46 or so): Georgia Tech and South Carolina grab the last two spots.
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