USM, State to host regionals
By By Jared Florreich / staff writer
May 26, 2003
The University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University received good news Sunday when the NCAA announced both schools will host NCAA Regionals May 30-June 1.
Southern Miss and Mississippi State are two of 16 regional hosts for the NCAA tournament. Regional pairings will be announced Monday.
This will be the third year that Mississippi State University (40-18) has hosted a NCAA Regional. 1997 and 2000 are the only other years the Bulldogs have hosted.
Dudy Noble Field has been the site of 10 previous NCAA regional tournaments, starting in 1979.
"Mississippi State has a tradition of hosting successful NCAA regional tournaments," said Mississippi State head baseball coach Ron Polk. "The past regionals at Dudy Noble Field have had tremendous fan participation and great tournament administration, and both of those likely were big factors in Mississippi State getting chosen to host this year."
In contrast, Southern Miss will host a NCAA Regional for the first time this year. The Eagles won the C-USA Tournament Sunday, defeating Tulane 7-5, to win their first C-USA Tournament championship. USM also won the C-USA regular season title.
This is one of the great days of Southern Miss history,'' USM Athletic Director Richard Giannini said Sunday. We're thrilled to death to be able to host a regional. It's a great tribute to (coach) Corky Palmer, our staff and our student athletes.''
USM (45-14) will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999, and marks the fourth time in school history the Eagles are competing in the NCAA Tournament.
Long Beach State and North Carolina State are also hosting regionals for the first time.
We want to reward a team that has done very well during the season with a site for the first time,'' said Charlie Carr, NCAA selection committee chairman. That's how you spread the game of baseball.''
Other regional sites are: Atlanta (Georgia Tech), Auburn, Ala. (Auburn)
Austin, Texas (Texas), Baton Rouge, La. (Louisiana State), College Station, Texas (Texas A&M), Coral Gables, Fla. (Miami) Fullerton, Calif. (Cal St.- Fullerton), Houston (Rice) Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska) Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach State) Palo Alto, Calif. (Stanford), Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State), Tempe, Ariz. (Arizona State), and Wilson, N.C. (North Carolina State).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.