May 26, 2014 2:01:02 PM
STARKVILLE-- Mississippi State will be going to a new destination for its 34th NCAA tournament appearance.
The Bulldogs (37-22) were selected to play in the 2014 NCAA Lafayette Regional on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. MSU's first game will be 1 p.m. Friday against Mountain West Conference tournament champion San Diego State (42-19).
"I don't know anything about San Diego State," MSU coach John Cohen said minutes after the NCAA selection show on ESPNU had concluded. "We'll spend the next two or three days trying to figure out about those guys. I'm pretty familiar with Lafayette's facility."
Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7) will play Southwest Athletic Conference tournament champion Jackson State (31-23) at 6 p.m. after the MSU/SDSU game is completed.
The Bulldogs were sent to a regional with the No. 6 national seed and the last time that occurred was 2012 when a MSU club, which had just won the Southeastern Conference tournament, went 1-2 in the Tallahassee Regional after two losses to mid-major Samford.
A record number of 10 Southeastern Conference opponents were selected for the 64-team field and five SEC schools were selected as host sites for the regional round. The Lafayette Regional was paired opposite of the Oxford Regional, to be hosted by Ole Miss, as the Rebels will be hosting a regional for the first time in five years.
San Diego State are coming into the event likely without their head coach as former MLB Hall of Fame selection Tony Gwynn was placed on medical leave since March 24 to deal with his ongoing medical issues. Gwynn had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes and tumors from his salivary glands in August 2010 and had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from the inside of his right cheek in February 2012. He has stated in the past that he believes the cancer was caused by years of chewing tobacco.
SDSU and MSU have never faced each other in any of the three major revenue producing sports (football, men's basketball or baseball). MSU split a two-game set vs. La-Lafayette in 1991 at Dudy Noble when the Ragin Cajuns were referred to as Southwestern Louisiana at that time.
La-Lafayette earned a national seed for the first time in program history and are playing host to a regional for the second time in school history, with the first ever regional host coming in 2000. The Ragin Cajuns home ballpark, M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field, holds a capacity of 3,755. The Louisiana-Lafayette ticket office is providing its season ticket holders first. Ragin Cajun Foundations members will have second priority. General admission requests will be fulfilled after.
Fans interested in tickets can call the UL-Lafayette box office at (337) 265-2100. The box office is not guaranteeing outside orders at this time, but requests will be taken until 8 p.m. on Monday. The all tournament pass costs $55.50. Mississippi State will not have any tickets through its box office.
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