By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — Neither Vanderbilt, the defending NCAA baseball champion or Tennessee accomplished their primary goal at last week’s SEC tournament. But both did reach their secondary goals and will be among seven SEC teams hosting regional tournaments for the forthcoming NCAA College World Series. The SEC took seven of the 16 available spots for regional events. A total of 64 teams will be attempting to reach Omaha, the site of the College World Series.

Each regional consists of four teams playing in a double-elimination format. All the events run from Friday through Monday. Regional winners advance to best-of-three super regionals, and those eight winners go on to the College World Series in Omaha. Vanderbilt finished the year 40-15, but lost two games in the SEC tournament. Tennessee reached the title game, but lost to Arkansas, expected to be the overall number one seed for the NCAAs. They ended 45-16 and also won the SEC Eastern Division title. Other SEC schools hosting will be Arkansas (46-10). the regular season and tournament champion, Florida (38-20), Mississippi (41-19), Mississippi State (40-15), and South Carolina (33-21). The Big 12 has three hosts: Texas (42-15), TCU (40-17) and Texas Tech (36-15). The Pac-12 also has three: Arizona (40-15), Oregon (37-14) and Stanford (33-14).

Notre Dame (30-11) is the only host from the Atlantic Coast Conference. East Carolina (41-15) of the American Athletic Conference and Louisiana Tech (40-18) of Conference USA also are hosts. A regional will be played at Texas for the 28th time, most of any team in the field. Louisiana Tech is hosting for the first time. Four schools on the NCAA’s list of potential regional sites, released May 14, did not make the cut. Those were Charlotte, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh and Southern Mississippi.

Five of the regional sites are in states where laws have been passed mandating transgender athletes to compete according to their sex at birth as opposed to their gender identity. Those states are Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. The NCAA Board of Governors last month issued a statement opposed to those laws and warned it could pass over those states when selecting sites for championship events. The Board of Governors said it would “closely monitor” the dozens of states where transgender sports legislation has been considered, but the issue did not affect where softball or baseball regionals are played this year.