Oregon State athletics/courtesy
LSU had to travel a long way to Oregon State's Goss Stadium — but that was going to be the case for anyone else in the 2018 NCAA tournament, too.

Sorry, but LSU baseball was not hosed with Oregon State draw

Alex Hickey

SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU@bigahickey or by email to Alex at alex.hickey@coxinc.com.

Question of the Day: Thursday, May 31

With LSU baseball traveling to Oregon State for the Corvallis Regional, one thing is quite clear — Tigers fans aren’t very happy about it.

You can usually count on LSU fans to travel in droves, but that seems quite unlikely with the team getting shipped off to the Pacific Northwest.

Michael Hall expressed his distaste with the situation on our SEC Country LSU Facebook Live.

Do you think we got jobbed? LSU on name alone deserved a better bid.

Sorry, that’s not how this works.

For all its faults, the NCAA actually does a pretty good job of keeping college baseball’s regionals as “regional” as possible. Just ask Southeastern Louisiana, which was sent to Baton Rouge the last two years. The Lions might have had a chance to spring an upset elsewhere, but, hey, that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Even though Corvallis is 2,415 miles from Baton Rouge, the Tigers are one of the nearest possible opponents to serve as the No. 2 seed in the Beavers’ regional. There just aren’t enough good teams west of the Mississippi River.

Distance to Corvallis, Ore. for NCAA Regional No. 2 seeds

UCLA 894 miles
Baylor 2,044
Purdue 2,238
Indiana 2,276
Louisville 2,316
Vanderbilt 2,365
LSU 2,415
Mississippi State 2,440
Tennessee Tech 2,441
Southern Miss 2,562
Auburn 2,606
South Carolina 2,802
Duke 2,856
Jacksonville 2,956
UConn 3,038
South Florida 3,066

If possible, the NCAA avoids sending two teams from the same conference to the same regional. That ruled out the possibility of UCLA going to Oregon State. Instead, the Bruins are heading to Minnesota.

Baylor, the next-closest school, is being sent out to the other national seed on the West Coast — Stanford. In this case, LSU and Baylor are basically interchangeable. But the Tigers got the slightly easier draw since Oregon State is the No. 3 national seed compared to Stanford’s No. 2.

Most LSU fans probably would have preferred that the Tigers be sent to Austin. But with SEC foe Texas A&M as the No. 3 seed, Indiana got the nod as the only non-Texas school in that regional.

Vanderbilt is slightly closer to Corvallis. But the Commodores were sent there last season for a Super Regional. Perhaps the committee felt it unfair to send Vanderbilt out west for a second straight postseason, which is perfectly reasonable.

That leaves only two schools that one could legitimately argue should have been sent to Oregon State rather than LSU: Purdue and Louisville. But both teams had a better RPI than the Tigers, which helped them get more favorable draws. The Boilermakers were sent to No. 6 North Carolina and the Cardinals to No. 9 Texas Tech.

The team you should feel sorry for in this scenario isn’t LSU, but Oregon State. As the No. 3 national seed, you’d expect the Beavers to get a cakewalk regional. Instead, they drew the team responsible for one-eighth of their losses in the last two seasons.

The Tigers may be a long way from home, but they didn’t get hosed. They got a team they know they can beat.

To see prior answers to our Question of the Day, we have you covered.