Four Big 12 Conference baseball teams have earned berths to the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship as the 64-team bracket was announced on Monday. Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas A&M represent the league with the Bears and Aggies serving as Regional host sites. Action begins on Friday, June 1, and will conclude on Monday, June 4 (if necessary).
The Big 12's four selections ties for the fourth-most by one conference in this year's event. Overall, the Big 12 has totaled 87 NCAA appearances and is 166-125 in Regional games. The Big 12 has sent multiple teams to Super Regional action in 10 years since the format was established in 1999. Additionally, the league has sent 15 teams to the College World Series, which is June 15-26 this year.
Big 12 regular season champion BU (44-14) earned a No. 4 national seed and will face Summit League champion Oral Roberts (37-23). Joining the Bears and the Golden Eagles in the Waco Regional are UT Arlington (36-23) and Dallas Baptist (39-17). Should the Bears win the Regional, they will face the winner of the Houston Regional, which is comprised of Rice, Arkansas, Sam Houston State and Prairie View. By virtue of their top eight national seed, Baylor would host the Super Regional as well.
Baylor has hosted Regionals in 1999, 2000 and 2005. The Bears swept all three games to advance and host a Super Regional in 1999 and 2005, but Baylor was eliminated after two games in 2000. Baylor lost to Oklahoma State in the 1999 Super Regional and defeated Clemson in the 2005 Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the first time since 1978.
In the College Station Regional, Texas A&M (42-16) will meet first-time participant Dayton (31-28) at Blue Bell Park. Mississippi (35-24) and TCU (36-19) complete the College Station Regional. The Aggies have won 14 of their last 18 games and are making a school-record sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. A year ago, the Aggies' path to the College World Series began on their home field as they started their postseason run by winning the College Station Regional. This marks the 28th overall appearance for the Aggies in the NCAA Tournament and the sixth time in seven years under the direction of head coach Rob Childress. All action from College Station can be seen on ESPN3.
Postseason champion Missouri (32-26) makes its first appearance in the tournament since 2009 and will travel to Tucson, Ariz., to face Arizona (38-17). Louisville (39-20) and New Mexico State (35-22) round out the Tucson Regional. This is the Tigers 22nd appearance overall and eighth as a member of the Big 12. The entire Tucson Regional will be telecast on ESPNU or ESPN3.
Oklahoma (38-22) will return to Charlottesville, Va., where the Sooners claimed the Super Regional in 2010 to advance to that year's College World Series. OU joins host Virginia, Appalachian State (39-16) and Army (41-13) in the Regional. Oklahoma has made 34 appearances all-time in the postseason field, including the five past years.
Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format. The 16 Regional site winners advance to a two-team Super Regional, which features a best-of-three series to send eight teams to the College World Series. The 2012 Super Regional host sites will be announced on Monday, June 4, at 10 p.m. CT. The 66th Men's College World Series begins play on Friday, June 15, at the TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
Big 12 Regional Schedule (OPENING GAMES)
Friday, June 1
6 p.m. - No. 4 Oral Roberts vs. No. 1 Baylor
College Station Regional
6:35 p.m. - No. 4 Dayton vs. No. 1 Texas A&M
7 p.m. - No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Appalachian State
10 p.m. - No. 4 Missouri vs. No. 1 Arizona
The Big 12 Conference's NCAA Baseball Championship Selections during the league's history.