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Big East champion UConn baseball placed in South Bend Regional

The Huskies will be the No. 2 seed and take on No. 3 Michigan in their first game.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

For the first time since 2016, UConn baseball has secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies (33-17) won the Big East title on Sunday evening with a 10-6 victory against Xavier after the Muskateers forced a winner-take-all final when they defeated the Huskies by a score of 5-4. The Huskies will be in the South Bend Regional, hosted by No. 10 Notre Dame.

The Huskies will be joined by Central Michigan and Michigan.

This is the team’s 21st NCAA Tournament bid overall and the Huskies have made three consecutive tournaments while being granted access to a regional in seven of the past 11 years.

No. 10 Notre Dame (30-11, 25-10 ACC) won the ACC regular-season championship by five games, but finished 1-1 in Pool A play, so the Fighting Irish did not advance to the semifinals. Central Michigan was one of the two teams that Notre Dame played in non-conference play, joining Valparaiso.

Michigan (27-17, 27-17 Big Ten) has limped into the South Bend Regional, finishing 2-4 over its final two weekends of Big Ten play, winning one game each against fellow NCAA Tournament teams Maryland and Nebraska. The Wolverines finished third in the Big Ten and due to the pandemic, they did not play a conference tournament or non-conference play.

Central Michigan (39-16, 31-9 Mid-American) earned a bid by way of winning the regular season MAC title, as the league did not host a conference tournament this season. The Chippewas have won eight straight games and only lost one conference series all year.

UConn is the only Big East representative in the NCAA Tournament, while Central Connecticut and Northeastern, winners of the Northeast and Colonial Athletic conferences, respectively, as well as at-large Fairfield, will join the Huskies as Northeast teams that secured a tournament bid.

Overall, UConn is 3-10 against teams that made the NCAA Tournament, as they took one game each in a three-game series from Southern Miss and Virginia, as well as a midweek win over Central Connecticut. The Huskies were swept in a four-game set by No. 8 Texas Tech.

The Huskies will open Regional play against Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.