DESTIN, Fla. — South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said LSU helped itself to host an NCAA baseball regional by going on a strong late-season run, but he said RPI was an overblown factor in deciding regional sites.
“A lot of people are hung up on RPI,” said Tanner, chairman of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. “But that’s just one metric we look at.
“LSU did well late to put itself in position to host.”
The Tigers' RPI was 21 going into the Southeastern Conference tournament last week and rose to 16 afterward after LSU went 3-2 with a pair of victories over teams ranked ahead of it: Mississippi State and Auburn.
That said, Tanner added that it was “real close” in deciding who were the No. 13-18 teams, making the top four hosts.
The No. 13 national seed, the Tigers open NCAA play at 6 p.m. Friday against Stony Brook.
“It took that one game to turn us around,” junior center fielder Zach Watson said. “It took that one moment to get everybody going.”