2024 College Baseball Regionals: Breaking Down the NCAA Baseball Tournament Field & Regional Hosts

2024 College Baseball Regionals: Breaking Down the NCAA Baseball Tournament Field & Regional Hosts article feature image

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: The College World Series trophy.

The road to Omaha is set. Welcome to the 2024 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

It's been a long and arduous season for these teams since February, but now we know the 64 teams that will be competing for a trip to Omaha and the College World Series title.

Regionals begin on Friday and continue through Monday, June 3. After one team advances from all 16 four-team pods, we'll have a three-game series in the Super Regionals from Friday, June 7-Monday, June 10 to determine which eight teams make it to Omaha.

The College World Series then starts on Friday, June 14 with the Game 3 of the CWS finals scheduled to take place on Monday, June 24 (if necessary).

But before we get there, let's take a look at how the Regionals field sets up, along with everything you need to know about the 16 host teams.

Knoxville Regional



Tennessee Volunteers (1)



Southern Miss Golden Eagles



Indiana Hoosiers



Northern Kentucky Norse

About the Host: Tennessee is once again looking to take center stage in the college baseball world after toppling defending national champion LSU in the SEC Tournament Championship on Sunday.

The Vols can do it all.

Tennessee ranks second nationally in slugging percentage and third in home runs per nine innings. To boot, it sits fourth in ERA and sixth in WHIP.

The Volunteers are absolutely loaded at the plate, with five different players racking up at least 17 home runs and 45 RBIs.

They’re led by Christian Moore, who’s tied for fifth in the nation with 28 dingers and is hitting .382 on the season. Add in Blake Burke (.372 BA, 17 HRs, 51 RBIs), Kavares Tears (.337 BA, 17 HRs, 48 RBIs) and Billy Amick (.317 BA, 19 HRs, 53 RBIs), and it’s clear that Tennessee has one of the country’s most potent offenses.

On the bump, it’s just as scary.

Drew Beam has continued his stellar play on the mound with a 3.92 ERA and 75 strikeouts compared to 21 walks, and Zander Sechrist (3.90 ERA, 57 Ks, 11 BBs) and AJ Causey (4.10 ERA, 100 Ks, 16 BBs) have joined him to form a formidable squad.

Plus, Kirby Connell (3.96 ERA, four saves), Nate Snead (3.41 ERA, five saves) and Aaron Combs (2.60 ERA, five saves) are capable of slamming the door in relief.

With a 29-10 record in Quad I and Quad II games and a BaseRuns mark of 9.05, don’t be surprised if you hear “Rocky Top” a lot over the coming weeks. -Pete Ruden

Lexington Regional



Kentucky Wildcats (2)



Indiana State Sycamores



Illinois Fighting Illini



Western Michigan Broncos

About the Host: The Wildcats’ regular-season success did not translate to the SEC Tournament, as they lost two of their three games. Despite a short trip to Hoover, Kentucky finished 40-14 with periodical stints as the top overall team in the nation.

Kentucky does a little bit of everything, ranking top-20 nationally in stolen bases per game and strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The staff is anchored by Trey Pooser, serving as the opening starter since the second weekend of conference play.

First baseman and Cincinnati transfer Ryan Nicholson leads the team with 18 home runs.

The Wildcats’ greatest strength has been negated by their seeding, as Kentucky is the toughest road team in the nation at 16-5. With respect to conference games, Tennessee and South Carolina were the only SEC teams to take a series from Kentucky. -Collin Wilson

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College Station Regional



Texas A&M Aggies (3)



Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns



Texas Longhorns



Grambling Tigers

About the Host: The Aggies were one of many top-ranked SEC teams to make an early exit from the conference tournament.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle found his squad at the top of the polls late in the season, only to find regression with series losses to Ole Miss and LSU. Texas A&M did not look elite against upper-tier competition, finishing 17-12 in Quad I games and 9-8 on the road.

Statistically, this is the most complete roster in all of Division I. The Aggies finished top-five nationally in home runs per game at the plate and strikeout-to-walk ratio on the mound.

The meat of the order brings plenty of power with 75 home runs from Jace LaViolette, Braden Montgomery and Gavin Grahovac. Plus, staff anchor Ryan Prager has been a must-bet ticket on Friday nights all season. –Collin Wilson

Chapel Hill Regional



North Carolina Tar Heels (4)



LSU Tigers



Wofford Terriers



Long Island Sharks

About the Host: The Tar Heels have overachieved considering the number of freshman pitchers on staff to start the season. North Carolina cruised to a regular-season ACC title before a nail-biting extra-inning loss to Wake Forest in the conference tournament.

The road to Omaha for head coach Scott Forbes goes through Boshamer Stadium, where North Carolina lost just one ACC game the entire season.

The pitching duo of Jason DeCaro and Shea Sprague has anchored a staff that sits 15th in earned run average. Matthew Matthijs may be the most valuable stopper in the nation, collecting 12 wins despite not starting a game all season.

The lineup ranks 10th in scoring, led by 77 runs and 22 homers from Vance Honeycutt. –Collin Wilson

Fayetteville Regional



Arkansas Razorbacks (5)



Louisiana Tech Bulldogs



Kansas State Wildcats



Southeast Missouri Redhawks

About the Host: The Razorbacks are primed for another letdown after a sluggish end to the 2024 season.

Pitchers outside of staff ace Hagen Smith have struggled, from Brady Tygart’s location issues to Mason Molina’s ballooning xFIP.

The decline of the pitching staff has created a bigger spotlight on the most serious issue for Arkansas — an offense that has struggled to plate runs.

Baum-Walker Stadium has always been a pitcher's paradise, but the offensive splits for Arkansas are lower than any other team from the past decade. Averaging a lowly 6.7 runs per game, the Hogs are outside the top 150 in Division I in regard to slugging percentage, on-base percentage and stolen bases.

If head coach Dave Van Horn can avoid a letdown similar to TCU and NC State in recent seasons, the Razorbacks have a chance to make a 12th trip to Omaha since 1979. –Collin Wilson

Clemson Regional



Clemson Tigers (6)



Vanderbilt Commodores



Coastal Carolina Chanticleers



High Point Panthers

About the Host: At 40-13, the Tigers lived up to the preseason hype of being a national contender in the ACC.

Head coach Erik Bakich dealt with inefficiency and injury to the pitching staff this season but will now be at full health heading into Regionals. Clemson fields four pitchers with at least 10 starts, with freshman Aidan Knaak generating 97 strikeouts and a sub-three ERA.

There may not be another team with more motivation than Clemson after failing in its Regional last year following a deflating 14-inning loss to Tennessee.

One difference from the Tigers compared to other Super Regional seeds is defense, falling to 184th on the season.

The offense combats its defensive woes with offense from team triple-crown winner Blake Wright.

Bakich is no stranger to getting it done in the postseason, as he led Michigan from the Big Ten to the national title game in 2019. –Collin Wilson

college baseball-odds-futures-picks-college world series-clemson-iowa-troy-kansas state-2024
Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Clemson's Cam Cannarella.

Athens Regional



Georgia Bulldogs (7)



UNC Wilmington Seahawks



Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets



Army Black Knights

About the Host: The Bulldogs became hotter than the sun over the final month of SEC play.

Kolten Smith transitioned from the bullpen to the starting staff, dominating the Texas A&M lineup in College Station in a late April series.

While the defense and pitching have plenty of statistical categories inside the top 100, consumers of Georgia baseball are fed a healthy amount of pop.

CHARLIE CONDON!#GoDawgspic.twitter.com/6iNHwoTajl

— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) May 18, 2024

The Bulldogs rank top-eight nationally in scoring, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and home runs all thanks to future major leaguer Charlie Condon.

The first baseman’s 25 home runs have been paired nicely with leadoff hitter Corey Collins, who leads the nation in on-base percentage.

If there’s an area of caution, Georgia barely finished above .500 in Quad I games with the only home series loss coming in the finale against Florida. –Collin Wilson

Tallahassee Regional



Florida State Seminoles (8)



Alabama Crimson Tide



UCF Knights



Stetson Hatters

About the Host: The Florida State Seminoles burst onto to the scene this season, as they came into the 2024 campaign with a lot of talent but were thought to have too much competition ahead of them.

The Seminoles blew through those expectations, finishing ninth in the country in wRC+, led by ACC Player of the Year James Tibbs III.

However, the Seminoles are not just offensive juggernauts. They have a deadly duo at the top of their rotation as well.

For now, it starts with Jamie Arnold, whose electric arm posted a 2.45 ERA with a 31% strikeout rate.

I said “for now” because it appears that Cam Leiter is gearing up for a postseason return. Leiter was dominant in the seven starts he made this season, going 5-1 with a 2.71 SIERA and a 35% strikeout rate.

Don’t overlook the Seminoles, as they’ve proven they’re one of the most complete teams in the country. -Doug Ziefel

Norman Regional



Oklahoma Sooners (9)



Duke Blue Devils



UConn Huskies



Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

About the Host: The Sooners were an overlooked team that caught my eye in the preseason.

We knew Oklahoma was going to hit, as it has a veteran lineup that can do the little things to win ball games. Plus, a great team batting average of .313 doesn’t hurt.

However, its success was entirely dependent on pitching, which has tremendous upside. Braden Davis is electric, as he held a 30% strikeout rate on the season. But after him, it’s hard to find another arm to trust.

Despite their lack of depth, the Sooners were the regular-season Big 12 champs and made it to the conference tournament final, but their lack of pitching depth could derail another trip to Omaha. -Doug Ziefel

Raleigh Regional



NC State Wolfpack (10)



South Carolina Gamecocks



James Madison Dukes



Bryant Bulldogs

About the Host: NC State finished second in the ACC this season, taking two out of three from Duke, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia, splitting a series with Florida State and sweeping Wake Forest to end the regular season.

The best part of the Wolfpack’s game comes at the plate, where they’re led by the trio of Alec Makarewicz (.376 BA, 19 HRs, 71 RBIs), Garrett Pennington (.345 BA, 14 HRs, 59 RBIs) and Jacob Cozart (.292 BA, 16 HRs, 48 RBIs). All three boast an OPS over 1.000.

The Pack’s concerns start on the mound, as NC State ranks 177th in ERA and 131st in WHIP.

Sam Highfill hasn’t been the pitcher we’ve come to know, owning an ERA of 5.56. Similarly, Dom Fritton has posted an ERA of 7.00 in 14 starts.

It’s no question the Pack are a dangerous team. They’ve taken series over some of the country’s best teams, evidenced by their strength of schedule rank of sixth.

If everything comes together — especially on the bump — there’s a chance they make a run. -Pete Ruden

Stillwater Regional



Oklahoma State Cowboys (11)



Nebraska Cornhuskers



Florida Gators



Niagara Purple Eagles

About the Host: The Oklahoma State Cowboys are one of the hotter teams coming into regionals. They played their cards perfectly in the Big 12 Tournament and won it all by owning Bedlam against archrival Oklahoma.

However, their taking the tournament crown was no surprise because the Cowboys are well-equipped for tournament baseball. They have three legit starters in Sam Garcia, Brian Holiday and two-way star Carson Benge.

Benge is also a big part of the Oklahoma State lineup, which finished 13th in wRC+ and 17th in ISO. The Cowboys are well-rounded, and we know that the ball is going to fly in Stillwater as temperatures heat up.

The key to winning this region will be pitching, and the Cowboys are likely to be the best equipped. -Doug Ziefel

Charlottesville Regional



Virginia Cavaliers (12)



Mississippi State Bulldogs



St. John's Red Storm



Penn Quakers

About the Host: The Hoos are back, and we know what to expect from them. Virginia brings the offense in bunches, as it finished second in the nation in team batting average and eighth in ISO.

However, concerns start to rise on the mound. The Cavaliers finished the season with a staff ERA of 5.82 and a team WHIP of 1.65. They have talent in their rotation, but the postseason is about depth, and their bullpen has been an issue.

It will be interesting to see who they draw in their region, as they will be on upset watch if they get stifled by an ace or two -Doug Ziefel

ncaa baseball-college world series-futures-bet-regionals-virginia-tennessee-miami
Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Jay Woolfolk #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers.

Tucson Regional



Arizona Wildcats (13)



Dallas Baptist Patriots



West Virginia Mountaineers



Grand Canyon Antelopes

About the Host: The final Pac-12 champion comes in the form of the Arizona Wildcats — an upset over preseason darling Oregon State. Head coach Chip Hale earns hosting duties after defeating USC in the conference championship game.

Arizona is a dangerous out in this tournament from a historical perspective, as the Wildcats are four-time national champions with 18 appearances in Omaha.

The pitching staff has provided the muscle for the roster, finishing as the top team in the nation in terms of strikeout-to-walk ratio. Arizona threw only 141 walks the entire season, 31 less than the next best team (Tennessee, 170).

Clark Candiotti is the ace of the staff with two complete games. He has a shutout on the season and 98 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched.

If there’s a weakness for Arizona, it may be the lack of performance in high-quality games.

The Wildcats are 3-9 in Quad I games this season. Arizona scheduled the toughest non-conference strength of schedule but took losses to tournament teams in TCU, Dallas Baptist, Alabama and Grand Canyon. -Collin Wilson

Santa Barbara Regional



UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (14)



San Diego Toreros



Oregon Ducks



Fresno State Bulldogs

About the Host: For the first time in the 64-team era, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos will be a Regional host. However, there’s a caveat — the Gauchos are tied for the fewest Quad I wins (3) out of any host team.

UCSB owns a relatively weak BaseRuns mark of 7.28, and they sit outside the top 100 in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

But the pitching is a different story.

The Gauchos’ staff is tremendous, ranking 13th in ERA and ninth in WHIP.

Ryan Gallagher (9-1, 2.27 ERA, .158 BAA, 93 Ks, 22 BBs), Mike Gutierrez (9-0, 3.30 ERA, .208 BAA, 83 Ks, 33 BBs) and Tyler Bremner (11-0, 2.63 ERA, .173 BAA, 96 Ks, 19 BBs) have been tremendous as starters, while Matt Ager ranks 12th nationally with 10 saves on the season.

UC Santa Barbara has also gone a perfect 25-0 at home this season, but its record falls to 16-12 when it hits the road. The Gauchos rank 57th in road RPI, so although they could make some noise in Regionals, things could fall apart when they have to leave the Golden State. -Pete Ruden

Corvallis Regional



Oregon State Beavers (15)



UC Irvine Anteaters



Nicholls Colonels



Tulane Green Wave

About the Host: There are two different versions of Oregon State.

The first is the one that plays at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. Those Beavers have gone 24-2 while scoring 9.4 runs per game.

The other Beavers — the ones who play on the road — have gone 9-10.

Despite the home/road splits, Oregon State still has one of the most complete teams in the country. The Beavs rank seventh or better in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and home runs per nine innings. On the mound, they’re top-20 in both ERA and WHIP.

Travis Bazzana, who entered the season with the fourth-shortest odds to win the Golden Spikes Award, has been one of the best players in college baseball this season. Bazzana ranks fifth nationally with a .418 batting average and eighth with 26 home runs. Tack on his 1.520 OPS and 14 stolen bases, and his tools become apparent.

On the mound, Aiden May has been nails. After missing a month of play early in the season, May has bounced back to post a 2.71 ERA to go along with 70 strikeouts compared to just 18 walks. He’s also heating up at the right time, giving up only three earned runs in his last five starts, which added up to 31 1/3 innings.

The Beavers have proven to be beatable away to Corvallis, but teams traveling to Goss Stadium should beware. -Pete Ruden

Greenville Regional



East Carolina Pirates (16)



Wake Forest Demon Deacons



VCU Rams



Evansville Purple Aces

About the Host: You can’t begin Regionals without mentioning the East Carolina Pirates.

The Pirates have made 33 NCAA Tournament appearances and have moved onto the Super Regionals seven times. Yet, they have never appeared in the College World Series.

This year’s team will look to change that.

ECU is led by one of the best pitching staffs in the country, highlighted by Friday night starter Trey Yesavage. The Pirates rank third nationally in ERA and fourth in WHIP, while Yesavage ranks fifth in ERA (2.09) and fourth in strikeouts (139). Opposing hitters are batting just .162 against the ECU star.

However, Yesavage didn’t pitch in the AAC Tournament after being hospitalized with a partially-collapsed lung.

The numbers at the plate are respectable — the Pirates sit inside the top 100 in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and home runs per nine inning — and they have a star in first baseman Carter Cunningham (.371 BA, 14 HRs, 59 RBIs), but there’s no question where this team’s strength lies. -Pete Ruden

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