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UConn baseball’s NCAA Tournament possibilities

Where are the Huskies going to go for Regionals? Who could join them?

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The conference tournament games are over, the 30 automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament have been awarded, the 16 Regional hosts have been announced and all there’s left to do is watch the Selection Show on Monday.

UConn brought the Big East Tournament to a winner-take-all championship out of the loser’s bracket but lost to Xavier to prevent the Huskies from a tourney three-peat.

They’re still comfortably in the field and will be watching at noon to find out where they’ll be headed and which schools they’ll be competing against to reach a Super Regional.

What does UConn’s resume look like?

The boys from Storrs have a solid NCAA Tournament resume, which will likely grant them a 2-seed in whatever Regional they’re placed.

UConn is 43-15 overall, 15-5 in Big East play. This was good enough for first place in the No. 12 RPI conference by one-and-a-half games, while the Huskies also finished 3-2 in the Big East Tournament.

Jim Penders’ team is No. 22 in the RPI, with a 23-11 record away from home, as well as a No. 83 strength of schedule, which rises to No. 50 in just non-conference games. UConn is also 4-5 against the RPI top 50, 11-4 against Quad 2 (51-100) in the RPI, and 28-6 against sub-100 competition.

Where will UConn go?

While their seeds weren’t announced, the NCAA Tournament committee unveiled the 16 host sites on Sunday night.

The SEC earned a record eight hosts, while four more went to the ACC. Oklahoma State (Big 12), Indiana State (Missouri Valley), Stanford (Pac-12), and Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt) are the remaining four hosts.

The Huskies don’t have an obvious space for a Regional site with Boston College getting passed over. UConn is likely too high in the 2-seed pecking order to be in Stillwater or Stanford, but Coral Gables, Conway, and Charlottesville are possibilities. The Huskies are going to go wherever they fit, with a lack of a logical location.

Who could join UConn?

Aside from the host, the Huskies will battle with two other schools to win the double-elimination Regional and advance to a best-of-three Super Regional.

The 4-seed is likely going to be from a one-bid, low-major conference. In each of UConn’s NCAA Tournament bids since 2010, save for the 2013 Blacksburg Regional, in which it was the 4-seed, the lowest-seeded team has come from a one-bid conference. In four of these seven occasions, it’s been the Northeast Conference champion.

With UConn likely going to a Regional in the Southeast, it will depend on how the committee ranks the automatic bids from the Northeastern part of the country compared to the rest of the nation, as those higher on the pecking order will get first dibs at a closer Regional. When the Huskies were in the Gainesville Regional in 2016, Bethune-Cookman out of the MEAC was the 4-seed, while MAC champion Central Michigan was part of the South Bend Regional in 2021.

The 3-seed is pretty wide open. The 3-seeds in most NCAA Tournament projections are wide ranging but are mostly comprised of schools from multi-bid leagues lower in the pecking order, with a few automatic bids. It could be any school that fits, depending on where the Huskies land.