(SNH) — The road to Omaha and the Men’s College World Series (MCWS) officially began on Memorial Day when the selection committee revealed the field of 64 teams, which includes 31 conference champions who are awarded automatic bids and 33 teams who received an at-large bid.

This year, the selection committee will utilize a revised quadrant system that now factors in the location of games as well as the Rating Percentage Index (RPI). Additionally, for the first time the Kevin Pauga Index (KPI) will be used as a resource tool by the committee. The selection process is much like that used for March Madness.

The top 16 seeds are given a national seed and are the option to host a regional. The 16 regionals each have four teams who play in a double elimination format. The regional winners advance to the eight super regionals. The super regionals each have two teams who play a best of three series.

The top-seeded teams advancing are provided the opportunity to host a super regional. Being able to play all tournament games at home until the College World Series moves to Omaha is a big advantage.

Since 2017, every MCWS champion hosted both a regional and super regional except for Ole Miss in 2022 who hosted neither. Strangely that year, Oklahoma also advanced to the finals despite not hosting a game during the tournament. Michigan in 2019 is the only other team during that time to advance to the MCWS finals without hosting a game.

This year, the top five seeds appear to be locked in to host both a regional and super regional if they advance. The other three seeds in the top eight are not as clear. The top five teams in RPI, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee are also the top five ranked teams by Baseball America. In order of RPI, the next teams are Georgia, Clemson, and Florida State.

If you notice a southern flair, it’s because every one of those schools is in either the Southeastern Conference (SEC) or Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Of the top 20 teams in the RPI, seven are in the SEC and seven in the ACC. Of the top 14 teams in the latest Baseball America rankings, six are in the SEC and six are in the ACC.

In the last six MCWS, five different SEC schools have won the title and nine of the twelve teams in the finals were SEC teams. Oregon State University in 2018 is the only team not in the SEC to win a title during that time and did so by defeating Arkansas of the SEC in the finals. Three of the champions from the SEC from 2017-23 won by defeating another SEC school.

The current MCWS field projections include almost 20 SEC and ACC teams combined. With both conferences currently hosting their respective championship tournaments, there is certain to be some great baseball down South this week.

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