An inside look at LSU’s regional

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LSU was given the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA tournament.

Aaron Nola and Paul Mainieri hold the SEC tournament trophy. (Patrick Dennis | The Advocate)

Aaron Nola and Paul Mainieri hold the SEC tournament trophy. (Patrick Dennis | The Advocate)

Here’s more about that. The Tigers will host a super regional if they can first manage to navigate the second-toughest regional, according to RPI, among the 16 NCAA regionals.

Provided by noted baseball expert and long-time Advocate reporter Joe Mac, here’s the cumulative RPI for 2-4 seeds in each regional:

(In parentheses is the RPI for the host team. An * signifies a national seed)

  • *Florida (2) 123
  • *LSU (10) 127
  • South Carolina (13) 128
  • Ole Miss (14) 158
  • Rice (8) 169
  • *Virginia (1) 175
  • *Florida St. (3) 177
  • Vanderbilt (7) 178
  • Louisville (20) 197
  • Cal Poly (16) 219
  • Oklahoma St. (18) 244
  • Miami (15) 258
  • *TCU (12) 281
  • *Oregon St. (5) 320
  • *Indiana (4) 339
  • *UL-Lafayette (6) 347

And, now, a preview of LSU’s regional teams:

Houston, 2 seed

  • Record (conference): 44-15 (14-9, 3rd American Athletic)
  • NCAA RPI: 10
  • The scoop: Houston has a lofty RPI for a No. 2 seed, and it beat regional host Louisville in the American Athletic Conference tournament championship game. The Cougars beat Texas A&M in a midweek game and swept Michigan in February. They’ve got a stud closer in Chase Welbrock, who has 12 saves and a 1.15 ERA in 39 innings.

Bryant, 3 seed

  • Record (conference): 42-14 (19-5, 1st Northeast)
  • NCAA RPI: 43
  • The scoop: The Rhode Island-based school dominated its conference in the regular season and then won the league tournament by outscoring its three opponents 14-4. The Bulldogs have three starting pitchers with an ERA of less than 3.00. They were swept by Maryland in a season-opening series, the only one against a major conference team.

Southeastern Louisiana, 4 seed

  • Record (conference): 37-23 (18-12, 5th Southland)
  • NCAA RPI: 73
  • The scoop: The Lions have what coach Paul Mainieri calls an “SEC caliber” ace in starter Andro Cutura. The junior from Pearl River is 10-2 with a 1.72 ERA. He’s thrown 95 strikeouts and walked just 19 in 99.2 innings this season. The Lions dropped two games to each Ole Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette this season and lost 7-3 to LSU.