The 16 host sites for the first round of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament were announced on Sunday, and the SEC Western Division champion was not on the list.
Of course, the SEC West champion was Arkansas this year.
The Hogs not selected by the NCAA to host a regional series in 2011 despite compiling a 38-20 record thus far this season, including a 15-15 record in the SEC to win the Western Division title. The Hogs’ most recent RPI rating was 14th nationally.
By comparison, the UCLA Bruins were selected to host a regional this year, entering the tournament with a 33-22 record (18-9 in the Pac-10), and an RPI rating of 42nd nationally.
Three SEC teams, all from the Eastern Division, were selected to host regionals this year. Those teams are South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Florida.
2011 marks the first year that that no team from the SEC Western Division has been selected to host a regional since the NCAA adopted the current tournament format in 1999.
As a result, if the Diamond Hogs make their way to the College World Series this year, they’ll have to do so by winning on the road.
Arkansas will find out where that journey will begin at 11:30 a.m. Monday (May 30), when the NCAA announces the full field of teams and seeding for this year’s tournament.