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It’s official: South Carolina, Clemson and Coastal are all NCAA baseball regional hosts

Three South Carolina schools will host regionals when the NCAA Tournament begins this week.

The USC Gamecocks, Clemson Tigers and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers all saw their names called when the NCAA announced its 16 regional hosts Sunday night. The rest of the field and full schedule — and the top eight national seeds — will be revealed in Monday’s selection show at noon on ESPN2.

South Carolina’s (39-19) hosting fate was the most ambiguous heading into the weekend after the Gamecocks lost 13 of their last 18 games and dropped four straight SEC series to end the season. Despite that late-season slide, USC’s metrics remained strong and well within traditional hosting range for the NCAA selection committee. Buoyed by the program’s best start since 1975, the Gamecocks finished the year top 10 in RPI, strength of schedule and quadrant 1 wins.

After the Gamecocks went 1-2 in the SEC Tournament, head coach Mark Kingston made his case for why the Gamecocks deserved the opportunity to host, pointing toward the team’s metrics and overall body of work.

“If the metrics matter, then let’s use the metrics,” Kingston said. “If the RPI matters, let’s use it. If the strength of schedule matters, let’s use it. If quadrant 1 wins matter, let’s use it. If last 10 (games) matters and that’s against us, fine. But if you’re using it, use it. Use it all. Use it all and come up with the best 16.”

Unlike USC, the Tigers (43-17) surged in the final month of the season, winning 16 straight games to play their way into the hosting field. They won the ACC Tournament championship Sunday, and they’re projected to be one of the tournament’s top eight national seeds when the full field is announced Monday. Clemson struggled early in the season and dropped a series against South Carolina as the team acclimated to first-year head coach Erik Bakich, who replaced current Gamecock assistant coach Monte Lee.

The Chanticleers (39-19) also finished their season strong, winning nine straight before dropping two games in their conference tournament.

Of the three in-state schools, Gary Gilmore’s Coastal team is the last to reach Omaha, winning the 2016 College World Series finals over Arizona. The Chanticleers dominated the Sun Belt this season to earn their second consecutive NCAA regional appearance and their 18th appearance under Gilmore.