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Florida and LSU victories advance SEC to 5 teams in NCAA super regionals.

Florida and LSU victories advance SEC to 5 teams in NCAA super regionals.

Five of the 10 Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams competing in the NCAA Tournament have won regionals and are now heading to super regionals, marking a record-tying achievement. Two of these teams, No.2 national seed Florida and No.5 LSU, completed their regionals on Monday and will be joined by three other SEC teams, No.15 South Carolina, No.16 Alabama, and Tennessee, starting on Friday. Additionally, there is a possibility of two more SEC teams advancing out of regionals, No.12 Kentucky and Texas A&M, who were playing finals on Monday night. The SEC previously sent a record six teams to super regionals in 2004 and 2018.

TCU and Southern Mississippi also won regionals on Monday, which brings the total number of teams that have advanced to 14.

Florida’s victory against Texas Tech resulted in their first entry into super regionals since 2018, following a three-year run of being knocked out on their home field. Ryan Slater and two relievers collaborated on a four-hit shutout, and BT Riopelle, who had previously struggled in the game, hitting 0 for 15 with eight strikeouts, hit two consecutive two-run homers.

“We didn’t want to overlook any team in this regional no matter what, and that’s exactly what we did,” said Gators shortstop Josh Rivera. “It’s a blessing to be where we are right now, and to understand that the job is not finished.” The winners of the best-of-three super regionals will go to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, which is scheduled to start on June 16.

If any of the top-eight national seeds win their regionals, they are guaranteed to host super regionals. The NCAA is expected to announce additional sites on Tuesday. The matchups are listed as follows: Alabama (43-19) at No.1 Wake Forest (50-10); South Carolina (42-19) at Florida (48-15); TCU (40-22) vs. No.14 Indiana State (45-15); Southern Mississippi (45-18) vs. Tennessee (41-19); Oral Roberts (49-11) vs. Oregon (40-20); Texas (41-20) vs. Stanford or Texas A&M; No.10 Coastal Carolina or Duke at No.7 Virginia (48-12); and Kentucky or Indiana at LSU (46-15).

Hayden Travinski and Cade Beloso each hit homers in the fifth inning, helping LSU overcome Oregon State, while Kurtis Byrne went 4 for 5 and hit two homers to lead TCU past No.3 Arkansas 12-4. Dustin Dickerson’s homer in the sixth inning led Southern Mississippi to a tiebreaking three-run shot in their win over Penn 11-7.

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TCU’s Cam Brown and Ben Abeldt allowed only three hits against Arkansas, but issued six walks. Will Armistead pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout relief to finish Southern Miss’ win, and Florida’s Ryan Slater pitched five shutout innings in his third season start and only allowed two runs over eight innings in three regional appearances.

Indiana State announced that it would not be able to host its super regional due to a prior commitment to the Indiana Special Olympics, which had been running for 51 consecutive years. The national seed would have hosted an unseeded TCU. With LSU’s entry into the super regionals, they now have made it to eight super regionals since the 2012 season and a total of 16 times. This is TCU’s first entry into the super regionals since 2018, and Arkansas failed to get out of the regionals for the first time since 2017. Southern Miss is in for the second year in a row under coach Scott Berry, who is retiring after the season.

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