Special to the E-T
NCAA Press Release
NDIANAPOLIS Ė The field of 64 teams competing for the 2008 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.
The national top eight seeds are Miami (Fla.) (47-8), North Carolina (46-12), Arizona State (45-11), Florida State (48-10), Cal State Fullerton (37-19), Rice (42-13), LSU (43-16-1) and Georgia (35-21-1).
The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with nine, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 with six. Conference USA and the Pacific-10 have five teams each, while the Big West has four.
Twenty-six of the 64 teams were not in the field last year. UC Davis (at-large), Dallas Baptist (at-large), Lipscomb (AQ) and Mt. St. Maryís (AQ), all are making the championship for the first time. Columbia last was in the field in 1976, while Rider and Eastern Michigan are in the field for the first time since 1994.
Miami (Fla.) is in the field for the 36th consecutive year, extending its own record. Florida State is making its 31st straight appearance, second all-time. Other long consecutive streaks: Cal State Fullerton (17), Rice (14) and Oral Roberts (11).
Of the 286 championship eligible Division I institutions which sponsor baseball, Florida State has the most Division I wins with 48. Twenty-six other teams won at least 40 Division I contests and all but two, Canisius and Missouri State, are in the field.
Each of the 16 regionals feature four teams, playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 30, to Monday, June 2 (if necessary). Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on www.ncaa.com, Monday, June 2 at approximately 11 p.m. (ET).
The 62nd Menís College World Series begins play Saturday, June 14, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.
Thirty-eight of the 64 teams were in the 2007 field. Four teams made the field for the first time in the programís history: UC Davis, Dallas Baptist, Lipscomb, Mt. St. Maryís.
Columbia, the automatic qualifier from the Ivy Group, is in the field for the first time since 1976.
Dallas Baptist is the first independent (other than Miami [Fla.]) to be selected into the championship since Cal State Northridge in 1992.