No. 1 seed LSU Tigers
Record: 43-17, 21-9 SEC
How they made it: SEC tournament champion
Coach: Paul Mainieri (1,367-691-7 35 years)
Key players: RHP Alex Lange (8-5, 2.59 ERA, 118 Ks), OF Greg Deichmann (.330/.438/.638, 19 HRs, 67 RBIs), SS Kramer Robertson (.314/.418/.506, 76 runs)
Strength: LSU’s pitching and lineup have been great as of late, but the one thing that has never left the team this season is its defense — LSU enters the tournament fielding at a .981 clip.
Weakness: LSU has some fantastic bullpen pieces in Zack Hess and Hunter Newman, but its depth beyond its top two is a source of concern.
Key stat: LSU is 38-3 when leading or tied after seven innings this season.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri started this season with a checklist of goals, and another one fell by the wayside Monday.
Immediately after finding out who his LSU baseball team would line up against in Friday’s NC…
No. 2 seed Southeastern Lions
Record: 36-20, 20-10 Southland Conference
How they made it: At large after finishing No. 2 in the Southland Conference during the regular season
Coach: Matt Riser (155-81 in four years)
Key players: 3B Taylor Schwaner (.320/.444/.620, 13 HR, 68 RBI), 2B Carson Crites (.301/.390/.571, 14 HRs, 58 RBIs), SP Mac Sceroler (9-1, 3.24 ERA, 108 K)
Strength: The middle of Southeastern’s lineup is pretty fearsome, with Schwaner, Crites and Ryan Byers combining for 38 of Southeastern’s 55 homers.
Weakness: Does Southeastern have the pitching depth necessary to win a regional? Twelve of its pitchers have an ERA north of 4.40.
Key stat: Southeastern stole 110 bases, ranking No. 6 in the country.
No. 3 seed Rice Owls
Record: 31-29, 16-14 Conference USA
How they made it: Conference USA tournament champions
Coach: Wayne Graham (1,145-495, 26 seasons)
Key players: C Dominic DiCaprio (.365/.441/.511, 6 HR, 47 RBIs), 3B Dane Myers (.360/.427/.531, 6 HR, 13-16 SB), 1B Darryn Shepphard (.315/.335/.506, 7 HR, 20 2B)
Strength: The Owls can hit, and while they don’t have one big bopper in their lineup, they do boast six players with at least five homers.
Weakness: Like Southeastern, Rice does not possess a deep pitching staff. Its 5.07 staff ERA ranked No. 164 in the country.
Key stat: Rice went 18-4 in its final 22 games
No. 4 seed Texas Southern Tigers
Record: 20-32, 14-10 Southwestern Athletic Conference
How they made it: SWAC tournament champion
Coach: Michael Robertson (225-247 in nine seasons)
Key players: OF Olajide Oloruntimilehin (.253/.337/.455, 10 HRs, 22-24 SB), INF Gaudencio Lucca (.315/.458/.565, 25 extra base hits, 11-13 SB), OF Kamren Dukes (.283/.399/.390, 2 HR, 29 RBIs)
Strength: Texas Southern’s lineup, while only hitting .256 overall, can present some problems to opposing teams, especially when it gets runners on the bases, where it has stolen 104 bases this year.
Weakness: Texas Southern simply does not have the pitching to stack up in a regional format, posting an 8.07 team ERA against nonconference opponents this season.
Key stat: TSU does not have a win against a team in the RPI top 100 this season.