May 24, 2009
Danny P Smith -
A disappointing showing in the Southeastern Conference Tournament this past week didn''t keep the Ole Miss Rebels from hosting an NCAA regional tournament.
Ole Miss (40-17) learned Sunday it made the NCAA Tournament by virtue of being selected as a regional tournament host.
Ole Miss was chosen as a host despite going two and out at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
The Rebels are looking for a fresh start in the NCAA Tournament after being eliminated from the SEC Tournament.
The entire field will be announced at 12:30 p.m. today on ESPN.
Another team looking for a fresh start in the NCAA Tournament after going two and out at the SEC Tournament is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama was not chosen as one of the 16 regional host sites.
Alabama (37-19) hopes to get a regional bid today.
The only other SEC teams chosen to host regionals were Florida and LSU.
The Rebels had a rating performance index at No. 14 prior to the SEC Tournament, but losses of 6-3 to Georgia and 12-2 to Florida will hurt that standing.
"You would hope to pad your resume a little bit, but certainly what we did (at the SEC Tournament) didn''t help," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "This team has done a good job of bouncing back this year."
The Rebels haven''t had any prolonged losing streaks throughout the season. They have dropped two-straight decisions six times and had an eight-game winning steak at one time.
Ole Miss centerfielder Jordan Henry hopes the Rebels have done enough to get a good pairing for the NCAA Tournament.
"We''re hoping to get that shot, but I don''t know the committee''s thinking," Henry said. "We''re not sure, but we all feel really confident and I thought we''ve played really well all season to get to where we are."
The University of Alabama was another school at the SEC Tournament trying to play its way into a host position for an NCAA Regional.
After also being eliminated in two games, the Crimson Tide is faced with having to play out of state.
Alabama had an RPI at No. 29 which will probably fall into the 30s with losses to South Carolina (9-5) and LSU (9-6) at the SEC Tournament.
SEC Player of the Year Kent Matthes doesn''t know where the Crimson Tide will be sent or seeded.
"That''s one of those things we really don''t control," Matthes said. "We could have made it a little easier on ourselves, but that''s in the past."
Alabama traveled to the NCAA Conway (S.C.) Regional hosted by East Carolina last season, while Ole Miss made the trip to NCAA Coral Gables Regional hosted by Miami.