NEW YORK — The Atlantic Coast Conference will feel right at home in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.
Five schools from the conference — Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia — were among the 16 selected Sunday as host sites for the tournament, which starts Friday.
The Cavaliers (49-9) won the ACC tournament Sunday, beating the Seminoles (42-17) and putting themselves in position to potentially earn the top overall seed in the 64-team tournament.
“I’m excited that we’re going to be playing in Charlottesville next Friday afternoon because these players deserve that opportunity,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said after his team’s 7-2 victory in Durham, N.C. “You earn that opportunity with that entire body of work that you have all year long, and we’ve earned that right. Our fan support has been unbelievable this season, and they deserve the opportunity to have championship baseball in Charlottesville, so we’re looking forward to going back home and playing.”
The Pac-10 had three schools — Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA — selected as sites a year after garnering a tournament-high four. Also with three will be the Southeastern Conference, with Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Other hosts include Cal State Fullerton, Rice, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M for the four-team, double-elimination regionals. All games will be played on campus sites.
Each of the host schools clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament, with the rest of the field announced by the Division I baseball committee Monday. The top eight seeds also will be announced.
“I’m really anxious to see if we are (selected),” Seminoles coach Mike Martin said of possibly being a top seed. “We will accept whatever comes our way, whatever the committee gives us. We’re excited that we’re hosting, we’re playing at home. Even if we are a top-8 seed, that’s no automatic shot to Omaha. It’s just a so-called reward. So we just hope that we are one of those eight teams. I’m not going to sit here and say I think we deserve it, because that is not my decision.”
Florida State is hosting a regional for the 28th time, while it’s the 26th time for Texas. Nine of the 16 schools also hosted regionals last season: Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Texas, TCU, UCLA and Virginia.
The 16 regional winners will play in the super regionals, beginning June 10. The eight winners of those best-of-three series will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. College baseball’s marquee event begins June 18 at the new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha after 61 years at Rosenblatt Stadium.
AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Durham, N.C., contributed to this report.