May 5, 2014
Conference USA men's golf champion Rice University earned the 12th seed at the NCAA Tournament's Raleigh, N.C. Regional, scheduled for May 15-17 at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course. It is the Owls' first trip as a team to the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
Rice stormed to the league title last Tuesday, topping No. 18 UAB by one stroke at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Okla., marking the team's first conference championship since 1939. Junior Tommy Economou paced the squad with a third-place finish and freshman Kevin Reilly followed closely behind in a tie for fourth place.
A total of 81 teams will compete at six regional locations, with the top five teams from each location advancing to the national finals at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kansas from May 23-28.
ACC champion Georgia Tech earned the top seed of the 13 teams heading to Raleigh. Joining the Yellow Jackets and Owls at the event will be Washington, Florida State, Texas A&M, Atlantic Sun champion Mercer, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, South Alabama, Memphis, Big Ten champion Minnesota and MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman.
Additionally, 10 individuals will compete for one spot in the championship finals, including: J.T. Poston (Western Carolina), Evan Russell (Hartford), Franco Castro (Charlotte), Brandon Matthews (Temple), Richard Fountain (Davidson), Eric Brady (East Carolina), Andrew Dorn (Coastal Carolina), Ben Wheeler (Coastal Carolina), Sean Bosdosh (Maryland) and Zach Seabolt (Winthrop).
UAB (fourth seed, Sugar Grove, Ill.) and Middle Tennessee (10th seed, Columbia, Mo.) earned at-large bids to represent C-USA in the tournament as well.
Of the Owls' 12 regional opponents, Rice has previously faced five of those teams this season with a combined 0-8 record.