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LSU head coach Paul Mainieri in the dugout before first pitch against Lamar, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

The latest projections released by Baseball America and D1 Baseball on Wednesday had LSU as a host for the first round of the NCAA tournament, but that's contingent on future results.

LSU begins a three-game set against Auburn on Thursday night, the final series of the regular season. The Southeastern Conference tournament begins next week.

As the postseason approaches, the last couple spots for hosting an NCAA regional are wide open. LSU, ranked No. 20 by Collegiate Baseball, is sitting in the middle of it.

The Tigers have 17 wins against RPI top 50 teams, tied for fifth-most in the country.

LSU enters Thursday night's game 15-12 in the conference. It is tied with Ole Miss for third in the SEC Western Division. Ole Miss travels this weekend to Tennessee.

There's a lot at stake, so let's break it down.

— If LSU sweeps Auburn to reach 18 conference wins, it will likely finish fifth in the league and take an edge on hosting a regional, though it will still need to play well in the SEC tournament.

— If LSU beats Auburn twice, it might still finish fifth in the conference, depending on the results of other league games. LSU would still need to win a couple times at the SEC tournament to feel good about its chances of hosting a regional.

— If Auburn wins the series or sweeps, LSU would be in trouble. LSU would drop in the conference standings, and it would have to make a run in the SEC tournament in order to host a regional. Even that might not be enough.

LSU can finish anywhere from No. 4 to No. 8 in the conference. Reaching No. 4 would require Mississippi State to get swept by South Carolina and LSU to sweep Auburn, an unlikely scenario given Mississippi State's talent.

LSU's best shot is to have the No. 5 seed in next week's tournament. It can reach that and position itself well for hosting the NCAA tournament, but only if it beats Auburn.


Follow Wilson Alexander on Twitter, @whalexander_.