After nearly a week of waiting, LSU finds out Monday if its season will continue.
The NCAA selection show, which begins at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, will reveal the 64-team tournament field. If the Tigers get picked, they will travel to one of the 16 regional sites next weekend. If not, their season ends.
Update, 11:40 a.m. Monday: LSU makes the NCAA tournament
LSU has waited for the selection show since it lost in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. The loss finalized LSU’s record at 34-22 overall and 13-18 in the SEC, putting it on the NCAA tournament bubble when a win might have cemented its spot.
As other league tournaments continued through Sunday evening, LSU traveled home and practiced, trying to remain prepared in case it earns one of 34 at-large bids. In the meantime, coach Paul Mainieri announced he will retire at the conclusion of the season, his 15th at LSU.
The NCAA selection show Monday will reveal the 64-team tournament field and decide the outcome of LSU's season.
So when LSU learns if it will play again this year, Mainieri will know if his 39-year career ended with a deflating 4-1 loss last week.
“I think we can win a regional and I think we can win a super regional and I think we can still go to Omaha if we get the opportunity next week,” Mainieri said. “I really do believe we will get the opportunity and I think we can play well and I think we can make something out of this year.”
The Tigers have a chance to make the field. They entered Sunday’s games ranked No. 28 in the RPI, one of the primary tools used by the selection committee. LSU’s RPI remained ahead of Alabama (33) and Georgia (41), two other SEC bubble teams that won at least one game at the league tournament.
If you're pulling for LSU to make the NCAA baseball tournament, your anxiety has probably cranked up a bit.
LSU’s strength of schedule, another positive on its résumé, sat at No. 4 in the country, according to WarrenNolan.com, behind Arkansas, Alabama and South Carolina. All of that made the Tigers one of the last teams in the tournament in D1 Baseball and Baseball America’s projections Sunday.
However, upsets in other conferences have reduced the number of available at-large bids. For example, regional host East Carolina lost in the American Athletic semifinals, making it a two-bid league, and Jacksonville took the Atlantic Sun’s automatic bid from Liberty, which still has a chance to make the tournament.
If the Tigers receive a spot, they will head to one of the regional sites the NCAA announced Sunday evening (see list below).
No one had a greater influence on Paul Mainieri's career than his dad, Demie.
“I think we deserve to be in there, unequivocally,” LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said. “Though it hasn’t been an LSU kind of season, I think we can go a long way given the chance.”
Over the past four months, LSU has played 56 games, recovered from a 1-8 start in the SEC and given itself a chance to at least make the NCAA tournament. The Tigers would then have a clean slate.
They will know Monday if they did enough to earn a spot.
Columnist Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.
NCAA regional hosts
As announced Sunday night. Seeding and other regional bids will be announced at 11 a.m. Monday (ESPN2).
Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.)
Arkansas (Fayetteville, Ark.)
East Carolina (Greenville, N.C.)
Florida (Gainesville, Fla.)
Louisiana Tech (Ruston)
Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)
Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)
Ole Miss (Oxford, Miss.)
Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)
Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.)
TCU (Fort Worth, Texas)
Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Texas (Austin, Texas)
Texas Tech (Lubbock, Texas)
Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.)