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Six Big 12 Teams, Including K-State, Headed to NCAA Baseball Championship

The Big 12 Conference is sending six of its 10 teams to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which begins this Friday.

Missouri Tigers
Missouri Tigers

Kansas State is one of six teams that will represent the Big 12 when the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship begins on Friday at 16 regional sites around the country. The 64-team field for the championship was announced today by the NCAA selection committee.

Texas (43-15), the Big 12 regular-season co-champion (with Texas A&M), is the No. 7 overall national seed and will host one of the 16 regional rounds this weekend. Big 12 postseason tournament champion Texas A&M (42-18), the NCAA automatic qualifier from the Big 12, also will host a regional.

The Austin regional will include Kent State (43-15), Texas State (40-21) and Princeton (23-22), the Ivy League champion, along with the host Longhorns. Regional action in College Station will feature Arizona (36-19), Wright State (36-17) and Seton Hall (33-23).

The four other Big 12 schools selected to participate in the NCAA Championship - Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor - will be going on the road in regional action. The Wildcats from Kansas State (36-23), who came close to not qualifying for last weekend's Big 12 Championship but one two of four games when they got there, are going to Fullerton, Calif., where they will be the No. 3 seed. This will be the third consecutive NCAA tournament bid for the Wildcats.

Oklahoma (41-17), which went to the College World Series a year ago, will play in Ft. Worth at a regional hosted by TCU. Oklahoma State (35-23) is the No. 2 seed in the Nashville Regional, and Baylor is one of the four teams in the Houston Regional. It will be Oklahoma State's first appearance in the NCAA tournament field since 2009.

Missouri, which entered the Big 12 Championship over the weekend as the eighth and lowest seed in the tournament, surprised the entire field by winning its first three tournament games before dropping a 5-4,10-inning decision to Texas A&M in the championship game. The deciding run scored on a walk-off home run by the Aggies ninth hitter in the batting order, senior Andre Collazo, and was his first home run all year.

Missouri (27-32) did not receive a bid to the 64-team championship field. If they had beaten Texas A&M in Sunday's championship game, the Tigers would have received the conference's NCAA automatic-qualifier spot, but that was about their only hope of getting in the NCAA tournament.

"I didn't want to see it end," said Missouri coach Tim Jamieson after his team's heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship. "It hurts. We put a lot of effort into it, and you see it finally come together like it can. These guys are a good enough team to keep playing."

This weekend's regional tournaments will be double-elimination formats. The winners at the 16 regional sites will move on to a two-team Super Regional, to be played at eight different locations, with the winners advancing to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The Big 12's six invitees to this year's NCAA Championship field ties the Pac-12 as the conference with the second most selections.  The Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference both had seven selections each. The Big 12 has had six selections four other times in its 15-year history. In 2009, eight teams from the conference received NCAA tournament bids in baseball.

Big 12 Regional Schedule (Beginning June 3)

Austin Regional
Texas, Kent State, Texas State, Princeton
Texas opens vs. Princeton

College Station Regional
Texas A&M, Arizona, Wright State, Seton Hall
Texas A&M opens vs. Wright State

Ft. Worth Regional
Oklahoma, TCU, Dallas Baptist, Oral Roberts
Oklahoma opens vs. Dallas Baptist

Houston Regional
Baylor, Rice, California, Alcorn State
Baylor opens vs. California

Fullerton Regional
Kansas State, Cal-Fullerton, Stanford, Illinois
K-State opens vs. Stanford

Nashville Regional
Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Troy, Belmont
Oklahoma State opens vs. Troy