The Rebels are IN! Ole Miss Baseball defies the ‘experts’ and makes the NCAA Tournament
OXFORD, Miss. — Against all odds — and against “expert” projections — Ole Miss baseball has made the NCAA Tournament and will travel to Coral Gables, Florida as the No. 3 seed in the Regional. The Regional is scheduled for June 3-6 at Mark Light Field.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) May 30, 2022
The field of 64 was announced Monday on the NCAA Selection Show. Miami is the No. 1 seed in the regional and the No. 6 seed overall in the nation, followed by No. 2 Arizona, and No. 4 Canisius.
CORAL GABLES REGIONAL
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) May 30, 2022
This means the Rebels will open up against Arizona, the team that knocked head coach Mike Bianco’s bunch out of Omaha in last year’s Super Regional round, one game from the College World Series.
The Coral Gables Regional is paired with the Hattiesburg Regional, hosted by Southern Miss. The winner of the Hattiesburg Regional and Coral Gables Regional will meet in the Super Regionals. Should Southern Miss and Ole Miss advance, the Golden Eagles will have the right to host the Super Regional as the higher overall seed.
This marks the 25th time in Ole Miss history the Rebels have made the NCAA Tournament, and it’s the 18th in 22 seasons under Coach Bianco.
This is the first time the Rebels will hit the road for a regional since the 2015 tournament.
Is the team excited? Just take a look at their reaction after the announcement.
Alexa, play "Miami" by Will Smith. pic.twitter.com/mNJtTnDWic
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) May 30, 2022
SEC Teams in the Tourney
The Rebels finished the season 32-22, overall, and 14-16 in the SEC, winning eight of their last 10 games. But after Ole Miss lost 3-1 to Vanderbilt, the bubble was a very small place, hence the so-called experts counting the Rebels out.
Conventional wisdom had Ole Miss battling with fellow SEC teams Alabama and Kentucky to gain entry to the postseason tourney. As it turned out, neither the Tide nor the Wildcats made the field of 64.
A total of nine SEC teams did make the tournament: Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, and Vanderbilt.
Nine SEC teams are in the NCAA Baseball Tournament field which was announced this morning. https://t.co/UMoWs9t4bg
— The Next Round (@NextRoundLive) May 30, 2022
Ole Miss RPI
Likely the committee put significant weight on the RPI rankings and this no doubt helped the Rebels. If you look at the Ole Miss RPI Monday morning, the Rebels are sitting at No. 39.
Here’s how the Rebs fared this season against other RPI ranked teams:
7-8 vs. No. 1-25 RPI teams
1-5 vs. No. 26-50 RPI teams
10-5 vs. No. 51-100 RPI teams
7-4 vs. No. 100-200 RPI teams
7-0 vs. teams with worse than 200 RPI
After a great start to the season, Ole Miss floundered in the middle portion of the schedule, losing series to Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Arkansas.
But with a 7-14 conference record, the team didn’t give up, battling to get back to Hoover and the NCAA tournament.
Ole Miss swept Missouri, defeated then-No. 14 Southern Miss on the road, before sweeping LSU in Baton Rouge for the first time in school history. The Rebels lost two of three to A&M at home before heading to Hoover.
All that is in the rearview mirror now, as Coach Bianco’s team has made the postseason tournament and continues the quest for Omaha.
Tournament and Ticket Info
Here are the Coral Gables Regional teams and schedule:
No. 1 seed: Miami Hurricanes (39-18)
No. 2 seed: Arizona Wildcats (37-23)
No. 3 seed: Ole Miss Rebels (32-22)
No. 4 seed: Canisius Golden Griffins (29-23)
Game 1: Arizona vs. Ole Miss at 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU
Game 2 Miami vs. Canisius (ESPN+)
Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser
Game 4: Game 1 winners vs. Game 2 winner
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner
Monday games (if necessary)
Game 7 (if needed): Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser.
According to the Ole Miss ticket office, tickets will go on sale Tuesday through the Miami ticket office at 9:00 a.m.
Tickets to the public will go on sale through Miami on Tuesday at 9 AM. https://t.co/iQDdGBLpoW
— Ole Miss Tickets (@OleMissTix) May 30, 2022
The 75th Men’s College World Series begins play Friday, June 17, at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stay tuned for all the NCAA tourney info!
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.