What a difference a year makes.
The Big 12 Conference was limited to three postseason teams a year ago. In 2014, the league will host four NCAA Super Regionals.
TCU’s Fort Worth Super Regional against Pepperdine will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lupton Stadium, the NCAA announced early Tuesday morning.
The best-of-three series will be televised on ESPNU. Game 2 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday. Game 3, if necessary, would be at 6 p.m. Monday.
The Horned Frogs (45-15) and Waves (42-16) were expected to begin play Friday because both had clinched regional titles on Sunday, a day earlier than most other teams. Instead, they get an extra day of rest.
Meanwhile, Texas (41-19) and Houston (48-16), which clinched regional titles on the road Monday night, will start at 3 p.m. Friday in Austin. The game will air on ESPN2. The Longhorns and Cougars were both No. 2 seeds in their regionals, but Texas got the nod to host most likely because of the size of UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin being a more lucrative site for the NCAA.
Texas Tech (43-19) will host College of Charleston (44-17) in the Lubbock Super Regional beginning at noon Saturday. The No. 2-seeded Red Raiders got to host after the No. 4 seed Cougars were the surprise winners out of No. 2 national seed Florida’s regional. The Red Raiders upset top-seeded Miami at the Coral Gables (Fla.) Regional. Charleston is just the fourth No. 4 seed to advance since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1999.
No. 7 national seed TCU is one of just three national seeds remaining in the tournament along with No. 3 Virginia (47-13) and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (57-8). Nine No. 1 seeds were eliminated in the regional round. Five Nos. 3-4 seeds advanced to the super regionals, the most since 1999.
All three of the remaining national seeds are on the same side of the bracket and would make up three of the four teams on one side of the College World Series bracket in Omaha, Neb. The CWS begins June 14.
There are eight NCAA Super Regionals across the country, and Big 12 teams will host half of them. It’s only the second time since the expanded format was adopted in 1999 that one conference has hosted four super regionals. The ACC did it last year.
A year ago, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were the only teams to earn postseason berths from the Big 12. Both K-State and OU advanced to the super regionals last year but didn’t qualify for the postseason in 2014. OSU lost in the regional round last year.
Oklahoma State, the Big 12 regular season champion, gets to host after No. 3 seed UC Irvine (38-23) upset the nation’s top seed, Oregon State, late Monday night. The Cowboys (48-16) and Anteaters start with Game 1 at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. It will be aired on ESPNU.
It’s the first time TCU, Texas Tech and OSU have hosted super regionals. The games at Tech and Oklahoma State sold out within hours on Tuesday. The Red Raiders are playing in their first super regional.
TCU students and season ticket holders have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request all-session passes.
By Monday evening, the Big 12 could have a record four teams — which would be half the bracket — earn trips to the CWS.
The Big 12 team is the higher seed in all but the Austin Super Regional. There, Texas and Houston are both No. 2 seeds, but the ’Horns have an obvious home-field advantage.
Big 12 teams’ postseason schedule
Fort Worth Super Regional
Stillwater Super Regional
Austin Super Regional
Lubbock Super Regional
Fort Worth Super Regional
(at Lupton Stadium)