Will Mississippi State Baseball host a regional?

The 2024 NCAA Baseball Tournament regionals hosts will be announced today. Will Mississippi State baseball be one of them?
Mississippi State breaks in the new Dudy Noble Field with a three-game series against Youngstown State this weekend.

Dudy Noble Field
Mississippi State breaks in the new Dudy Noble Field with a three-game series against Youngstown State this weekend. Dudy Noble Field / Keith Warren

Mississippi State baseball entered the SEC Tournament needing to add wins if they wanted to host a regional in Starkville. The Diamond Dawgs started their run in Hoover 2-0, defeating rival Ole Miss and then knocking off one of the nation's best in Texas A&M. They then dropped their next two games to Vanderbilt and Tennessee to be eliminated.

So did they do enough? After beating the Aggies, it certainly seemed so. At that point there was little doubt that Starkville would be hosting a regional. But then the losses that followed, despite neither being bad, muddied the picture.

State's metrics, most notably the heavily-used RPI, dropped them right back to where they had been prior to the SEC Tournament, and suddenly, prognosticators were far less confident in Mississippi State playing postseason baseball at home.

But now we've seen some results around the country that are favorable for State's hosting chances. Other teams near the hosting cutline suffered detrimental losses, damaging enough that their own probabilities of hosting took serious hits.

Much of the hosting picture appears set, and there's a handful of teams, Mississippi State included, vying for one of the final spots. Can State nab a national seed and bring postseason baseball back to Starkville?

Which teams look set to host?

Both D1 Baseball and Baseball America have put out updated regional projections this morning, and at they agree on 15/16 host teams. However, that doesn't mean 15 teams are safely hosting right now.

At the moment, there are 12 teams I think are locked in. Those are Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, Georgia, Virginia, Oklahoma State, and NC State.

If there's another, it's UC Santa Barbara. Personally, I'm not sure why they aren't being included in the discussion as a team on the cutline given some of their resume points, but perhaps their dominance through the Big West and good RPI is enough. And to be fair, there needs to be at least one West Coast host, so for the purposes of this discussion, we'll say they're hosting.

Six (seven, eight?) teams for three spots

It's crowded at the cutline. On the day regional hosts will be announced, there's six teams at a minimum in the conversation to host with just three spots left available. And there could be an argument made for a few more teams as well.

For now, we'll start with the six teams battling for national seeds 14, 15, and 16 and their resumes. I didn't go into overall and conference records because, ultimately, all teams won enough games and were good enough in league play to justify a host.







MS State







IN State







OR State




























When you line Mississippi State up against their competition and take each category into account, it's easy to see why opinions are so split on the Bulldogs. Of these six teams, State easily has the best KPI rank, the best Strength of Schedule, and the most Q1 wins.

On the flip side, State is the lowest in the RPI, has the most Q4 losses, and played the second-worst non-conference strength of schedule. Unless you know for sure which of these factors the selection committee will value the most, it's impossible to get a good read on where State stands when it comes to hosting.

The KPI is the resume metric we know the least about. This is the first year the selection committee is using it, so how much it will be valued is unclear. If you're Mississippi State, you certainly hope it's heavily factored.

I don't think the non-conference strength of schedule hurts them too much. You can get away with that when you play in the SEC. The issue is the losses they took in the non-conference. State took five Q4 losses, the most of any team inside the Top-36 of the RPI and easily the most of any team arguing to host.

That being said, three of those losses took place in the first five games of the season, and State was without one of its best players in David Mershon. Meanwhile, they finished with 16 Q1 wins, fourth most of any team in the country. Does the fact that those bad losses happened months ago with a key injury while a healthy team rattled off a ton of great wins make the committee look past the Q4 record?

I tend to think the good will outweigh the bad, but if the committee wanted to say "sorry, you can't lose to that many bad opponents no matter when they happened and host", I can't say I'd be surprised.

As for the others, Indiana State is being helped a lot by (confusingly) having the #10 RPI. The fact they just lost in their conference tournament (to a team MSU swept) could hurt them a lot. Oregon State is also being aided by RPI to go along with overall record and, frankly, reputation because their resume doesn't exactly impress either.

Duke is a sneaky one here given their metrics and number of Q1 wins. But a sub-200 NCSOS is pretty horrid and far worse than any other potential host. It feels like ECU may have killed their chances suffering two losses to Wichita State in three days. I wouldn't have thought to include Dallas Baptist had Baseball America not given them a host spot. Personally, I don't see it, but the 8-2 Q1 record is admittedly praise-worthy for a mid-major.

If there were any wildcards to throw in, they'd be San Diego and Arizona. USD is 18th in the RPI and played a very strong non-conference slate, earning a few good wins. That said, I don't think the overall profile is strong enough.

Arizona is the team West Coast baseball fans are the most fired up about. They won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles and played the toughest non-conference slate in the country. The problem, they're 31st in the RPI and despite scheduling tough, went just 3-9 vs Q1. The KPI doesn't think highly of them either, ranking them 30th.

It would be unprecedented for the team with their RPI to earn a host. There will be lots of lobbying today to say "throw the metrics out and award a team who earned it" for the Cats. And to be fair, Mississippi State fans have made a similar argument for their team, specifically when it comes to the RPI. But I just don't see it for Zona.

Will Mississippi State host?

So will there be a regional in Starkville? D1 Baseball thinks so. They've got the Diamond Dawgs as the last national seed. Baseball America isn't there yet. They went with Dallas Baptist at #16.

For me, I put it at about 70/30 in favor of MSU hosting. I haven't been pounding the table for State to host the last few days because, looking at things objectively, I can understand the hold-ups over their resume and why it's not as easy as State fans seem to think to put them ahead of other programs.

That said, I think the results yesterday of Indiana State and ECU both losing helps them quite a bit. ECU specifically seems to be the most likely team to have dropped out of hosting since yesterday. I think it's hard to argue Duke over MSU, and I'm not seeing it with Dallas Baptist. I'm not impressed with Oregon State either, but they seem destined to host.

Indiana State might get some benefit of the doubt based on RPI alone, but between State, ECU, Duke, and DBU, I think the committee would lean State amongst those four, which would mean the Dawgs can nab a host spot. And while I don't think this should be a determining factor when it comes to awarding host spots based on results, there's no denying the appeal of Dudy Noble Field and the attendance that comes with it to the committee.

But as I said earlier, I can understand if they go another direction given the RPI and Q4 record. The RPI is greatly flawed, but the committee uses it nonetheless. And even with some of the circumstances around State's Q4 record, it's still a flaw to the resume. I think State will host, but I don't think it'll be some national tragedy if they don't. They had several chances to secure a host spot during league play and let those games slip away. There's a chance that comes back to bite them.

Still, I think things broke enough in favor of Mississippi State that they'll be hosting next week. We'll find out for sure later today when the NCAA announces its regional hosts.