The NCAA has revealed which 16 teams will be hosting a regional in the NCAA Tournament, and for a fourth consecutive season, Arizona State will be hitting the road on the first weekend of the postseason.
The Sun Devils (34-21, 16-14 Pac-12) will learn their destination and first opponent at 9:00 a.m. (MST) on Monday. They will likely be a No. 2 seed in the field of 64.
In a bit of a shocking twist thrown at the country by the selection committee, no city west of Lubbock will be hosting a regional this season. In addition, the northernmost host site is Louisville, meaning there will be plenty of teams from the West Coast playing far, far from home next week.
So to recap - the 16 hosts:— Lenny Vangilder (@LennyVangilder) May 30, 2016
Tracy Smith's club appeared to be in good standing to land a host site heading into the weekend, but back-to-back losses against a .500 USC team spoiled those plans. The setback against the Trojans marked their first series loss since back on April 8-10 against Washington.
Arizona State's 16-14 record in conference play put them in a tie for third place in the Pac-12 at the conclusion of the regular season. Arizona and Oregon State joined the Sun Devils in that logjam, while Utah and Washington finished on top of the league.
Last year, Smith and company were sent to Fullerton for regional play. They beat Clemson in their tournament opener before falling in consecutive games to Cal State Fullerton and Pepperdine.
The maroon and gold have not hosted a regional since the 2011 season, when they welcomed Arkansas, Charlotte, and New Mexico to Packard Stadium in Tempe. That team eased their way through the first round, going 3-0 before being eliminated against Texas in the Austin Super Regional.
Regional play this year will begin on Friday at the 16 sites around the country.