Four Va. teams begin the long road to Omaha
Four Va. teams begin the long road to Omaha

A Big South team and the champions of the Big East and Big 12 tournaments will travel to Virginia Tech for an NCAA baseball regional.

The field and pairings for the 64-team NCAA tournament were announced Monday.

The Hokies will face Connecticut at 5:30 p.m. Friday in its four-team, double-elimination regional at English Field. Coastal Carolina will face Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Friday.

"We're excited," Tech pitcher Devin Burke said at a restaurant after watching the tournament selection show with the rest of the team. "We're looking forward to the challenge. Our regional's not easy."

Virginia - the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament - will host a regional that includes Army, Elon and UNC Wilmington. William and Mary received an at-large bid, one of three CAA teams to get a bid, and will play in the North Carolina State regional.

UConn won the Big East tournament despite going 9-15 in conference play. Oklahoma won the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 1997, and won the U.Va. regional in 2010 and last year.

Coastal Carolina received an at-large bid. The team's string of six straight Big South tournament crowns ended last weekend when Liberty won that tournament.

"It's a heck of a regional," Tech coach Pete Hughes said. "UConn is hot; they had to run through a very good league to win that tournament.... Coastal Carolina is one of the most successful programs in this region the last 15 years.... (The Sooners) have played well when they've come into this part of the country."

If the Hokies win their regional, they will face the winner of the LSU regional for a berth in the College World Series. The Tigers (52-9) are the No. 4 overall seed, so they would get to host the best-of-three super-regional series if they win their regional.

Virginia (47-10) will host Army (29-21) at 1 p.m. Friday in its regional. Elon will meet UNCW at 6 p.m. Friday.

For the third time in four years, Virginia reaped one of the eight national seeds in the tournament. That means if U.Va. wins its regional, it would also get to stay home for its super-regional. U.Va. would host the winner of the Mississippi State regional.

"We have to play really great baseball this coming weekend to have that opportunity," U.Va. coach Brian O'Connor said.

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