By the time Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes and his team were done in Durham, N.C., this past weekend at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, he was starting to think nearly every person that asked him a question about his program lacked originality.
His frustration was borne out of supreme confidence in his team, and the fact he was getting the same question asked over and over again: Did his team deserve to host the first NCAA baseball tournament regional in school history? There wasn't much doubt in the clearly-biased mind of Hughes.
On Sunday night, it turned out the NCAA tournament selection committee agreed with Hughes' assessment. The committee also rewarded Monday the historic run William and Mary's program has experienced this season.
- ACC All Access: Virginia Tech's Pete Hughes was fed up with questions about his team's regional hosting worthiness
- Hokies drop ACC baseball championship 4-1 to UNC, will host NCAA regional
- Teel Time: Ten ACC teams among baseball's top 35, including Virginia, Virginia Tech
- College Sports
- Virginia Cavaliers
- College Baseball
See more topics »
Tech (38-20), which lost 4-1 Sunday to North Carolina in the ACC tournament championship game, and Virginia were picked to be two of 16 teams to host regionals in the tournament. U.Va. also was awarded the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament, which means it will host a super regional if it advances past this weekend's regional.
W&M earned an at-large bid to the tournament, and will play as the No. 3 seed in a regional in Raleigh, N.C. W&M's only other tournament appearances came in 1983 and 2001.
"Honestly, I thought we should've been a regional host before the (ACC tournament championship) game even started with our resume," said Hughes, whose team is No. 11 in ratings percentage index figures compiled by warrennolan.com. "It's not being arrogant. I'm just talking facts. I was sick of answering the question. If I had another name on my jersey, I wouldn't get those questions asked. When you're building, you don't have that luxury.
"I think things are pointed in the right direction by being a host. We're in an advantage playing at home, sleeping in your own bed and playing on a field where you're comfortable. Our kids love playing at home. Getting a No. 1 seed, it's awesome for our program."
Tech will play host to No. 4 seed Connecticut, No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina (37-21) and No. 2 seed Oklahoma (40-19) in its regional. Tech will play Friday at 5:30 p.m. against UConn (34-26), which won the Big East tournament title as the No. 8 seed. That game will be preceded at 1 p.m. by the Coastal Carolina-Oklahoma game.
In Charlottesville, U.Va. (47-10) welcomes back No. 4 seed Army (29-21), which also played last season in a regional in Charlottesville, No. 3 seed Elon (32-28) and No. 2 seed UNC-Wilmington (37-21). U.Va. will play 1 p.m. Friday against Army, and Elon will play at 6 p.m. against UNC Wilmington.
W&M will play 2 p.m. Friday against Mississippi (37-22), which is the No. 2 seed in the Raleigh, N.C., regional. N.C. State (44-14) is the top seed in the regional, and will play 7 p.m. Friday against No. 4 seed Binghamton (30-23).
W&M (37-22), which was considered a bubble team after losing in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title game to Towson, set a school record with 17 conference wins (17-10, eclipsing the previous record of 16 wins). Its 37 wins are tied for the most in school history.
W&M is a respectable No. 44 in RPI, but it was just 2-5 against teams rated in the RPI top 50. A strong conference RPI — No. 8 — may have worked in the favor of the CAA, which also got UNC-Wilmington into the 64-team field as an at-large.
"You never really know," said W&M first-year coach Jamie Pinzino regarding his perception of his team's chances of earning an at-large bid. "We felt like our resume was pretty good and comparable to a lot of other teams on the bubble, but you never really know what the selection committee will do. We felt good about our season, either way, but we're very excited to have this opportunity."
U.Va., which is No. 3 in RPI, hosts a regional for the fourth consecutive season. U.Va., which also has hosted a regional in seven of the past 10 seasons, is one of three schools to host a regional in each of the past four years. South Carolina and UCLA are the other two schools.
"I would not have been surprised if you had told me at the beginning of the year that we would be a national seed, because I knew the talent of this team," U.Va. coach Brian O'Connor said. "It doesn't surprise me that we are in this position. I felt coming into the start of the year that we had a lot of talent. It was just a matter of how consistent would they be."