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UCLA Baseball: Bruins Head to Texas for Lubbock Regional
The Bruins will begin tournament play against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday afternoon.
The UCLA baseball team (35-18) is heading to Texas as the #2 seed in the Lubbock Regional, as announced today during the NCAA Baseball Championship Selection Show.
Also drawn into the Lubbock Regional are the hosts #8 seed Texas Tech, North Carolina, and Army.
UCLA and North Carolina will square off on Friday, June 4th, at 4 pm PT.
Texas Tech and Army also play on Friday.
This round of the tournament is double elimination. So, the winners of the two Friday games will play on Saturday, as will the losers who will play in a knock-out game. With only one team emerging out of each regional, there is a premium with winning early in a double elimination tournament. The winner of the Lubbock Regional will face the winner of the #9 seeded Stanford regional in the best-of-three super-regional round.
UCLA finished fourth in the Pac-12, with all three teams ahead of them, Arizona, Stanford, and Oregon, each hosting its own regional. The Wildcats earned a #5 seed, Stanford received the #9 seed, and Oregon is #14.
Arizona State and Oregon State also made the field of 64. The Sun Devils are the #3 seed in the Austin Regional and the Beavers are the #3 seed in the Fort Worth Regional.
A total of six Pac-12 teams made the field.
UCLA’s draw was not unexpected. The committee does not usually send teams to regionals hosted by conference rivals, so UCLA was not going to Stanford, Eugene, or Tucson. No other west coast team outside of the Pac-12 was hosting, so the Bruins were expected to go to one of the three Texas sites. After finishing the season strong, UCLA is drawn with highest seed of the teams hosting in Texas, while ASU is in a regional with #2 overall seed Texas and OSU was sent to the regional with #6 seeded TCU.
UCLA’s first opponent, North Carolina (27-25, 18-18 ACC), was one of the “last four in” teams in and finished fourth in the Coastal Division of the ACC, but will be a tough out in a first round game on a neutral field.
Still, the Bruins are playing pretty good baseball right now, winning four straight games and seven of their last ten. The team is also about as healthy right now as it has been all season. It should make for an interesting weekend.