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Oxford Regional field set as Ole Miss named No. 12 National Seed

Ole Miss knows its path to get back to the College World Series for the first time in seven years and it will take getting through a stacked Oxford Regional and then a trip to the desert.

The 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament bracket was revealed on Monday, putting the Rebels as the No. 12 National Seed and paired with No. 5 seed Arizona and the Tucson Regional. Ole Miss is hosting its third straight regional and 10th since 2004.

Before Ole Miss can begin packing their bags for a Super Regional out West, they will first have to get past the Oxford Regional and Southern Mississippi, Florida State and Southeast Missouri State.

“This team has this unique feel about them. A unique vibe where there’s a subtle confidence in them, said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They just want to play. I don’t think there was a lot of drama to it. They were anxious to see who the opponent was. …They’re worried about what’s in their dugout, which is a good thing.”

The Rebels (41-19) are the No. 1 seed and will face No. 4 SEMO (30-20) at 7 p.m. CT  on Friday in the first round of the double-elimination bracket. The Redhawks won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament this year for the fourth time and this is their fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Redhawks ace Dylan Dodd will more than likely get the start against the Rebels on Friday. The left-hander went 9-1 in the regular season and postseason with an earned run average of 2.78.

Southern Mississippi (37-19) is the No. 2 seed and will face No. 3 seed Florida State (30-22) at 2 p.m. CT on Friday in the first game of the Oxford Regional. They were named as one of the 20 predetermined host sites, but were unable to secure a regional in Hattiesburg after dropping two game to No. 16 seed Louisiana Tech in last week’s Conference USA Tournament.

The Golden Eagles are making their third postseason appearance in Oxford and first in 14 years. Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi did not meet in the regular season, as they normally do in Pearl, so any potential matchup this weekend in Oxford will be the first meeting of the season.

“It’s postseason baseball and we got a couple good teams coming in and that’s how it’s always going to be,” said Tim Elko. “It’s never going to be easy when you’re trying to get to Omaha. We’re ready for those teams to come in and some good competition but we’re a really good team as well.”

In the Tucson Regional, Arizona (40-15) is the 1 seed and joined by No. 2 seed Oklahoma State (35-17-1), No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara (39-18) and No. 4 seed Grand Canyon (39-19-1)