HOUSTON -- The Conference USA champion Rice baseball team (31-29 overall) is back in the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd-straight year with a chance to play for another national championship. The Owls travel to LSU as the opening round of regional play begins at 16 sites across the country, the NCAA announced on Monday (May 29).
Rice is the No. 3 seed of the regional and scheduled to meet No. 2 seed Southeast Louisiana (36-20) at 7 pm on Friday, June 2, in a double-elimination tournament format. The NCAA's No. 4 national seed LSU (43-17) and regional's No. 4 seed and crosstown foe Texas Southern (20-32) complete the four-team opening round field. A full listing of the regional's game times will be available soon.
The 16 Regional winners advance to play in one of eight best-of-three Super Regionals getting under way the following week (June 9-12). The Baton Rouge Regional is paired with the Hattiesburg, Miss. Regional (home of C-USA rival Southern Miss). The 71st Baseball College World Series begins play the week after that (June 17) in Omaha, Nebraska.
Rice baseball's 23-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament is the nation's third-longest active streak. The two schools with longer active streaks than Rice to make the 2017 NCAA field are Florida State for the 40th-consecutive year and Cal State Fullerton (26).
Under the direction of 26th-year head coach Wayne Graham Rice baseball has won or shared a total of 21 conference championships (including either regular season and/or conference tournament titles). The Owls won 18 of their final 22 games, including a 4-0 showing at the C-USA Championship, capped by a walk-off win in the title game over No. 11 ranked Southern Miss. The Blue & Gray have maintained a high RPI rating by the NCAA all season long.