After finishing one of the most dominant runs in Southeastern Conference history, Tennessee was selected the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament Monday.

The Volunteers (53-7) won 31 of their first 32 games, swept the SEC regular-season and tournament titles and have the best pitching and batting statistics in the nation.

They’ve been the consensus No. 1 team in the polls all but one week since March 28 and enter regionals having won eight straight and 12 of 13.

“It’s really cool to win the SEC Tournament,” Vols slugger Drew Gilbert said, “but we have bigger goals in mind and know we still have a lot of baseball in front of us.”

The 64-team tournament opens Friday in 16 regionals. Winners advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha.

The top eight national seeds are assured of hosting super regionals if they win their regionals.

The national seeds following Tennessee: Stanford (41-14), Oregon State (44-15), Virginia Tech (41-12), Texas A&M (37-18), Miami (39-18), Oklahoma State (39-20) and East Carolina (42-18).

Stanford, which won the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles, is a national seed for the first time since it was No. 2 in 2018. Oregon State gives the Pac-12 two of the top three seeds for the first time.

Texas A&M won its last seven SEC series under first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle to lock up a national seed after not making the tournament last year.

Seeds nine through 16: Texas (42-19), North Carolina (38-19), Southern Mississippi (43-16), Louisville (38-18-1), Florida (39-22), Auburn (37-19), Maryland (45-12) and Georgia Southern (40-18).

The ACC and SEC had the most teams selected, with nine apiece. The Big 12 and Pac-12 each got five teams in, and the Sun Belt Conference has four teams in the field.

Texas is well-represented. Both Texas A&M and Texas are hosting regionals, and

Texas Tech (37-20) is in the regional hosted by Georgia Southern at J. I. Clements Stadium at Statesboro, Ga., They’ll face Notre Dame (35-14) on Friday at 1 p.m. on the ACC Network. Georgia Southern (40-18) will meet UNC-Greensboro (34-28) at 6 p.m. on ESPN-Plus, ESPN’s internet streaming network.

At the regional hosted by the Longhorns at UFCU Disch Falk Field in Austin on Friday, Texas (42-19) will take on Air Force (30-27) at 1 p.m. on the Longhorn Network. Louisiana Tech (42-19) will take on Dallas Baptist (34-22-1), at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN-Plus.

In College Station, in the regional hosted by the Aggies at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, Texas A&M (37-18) will face Oral Roberts (38-18) at 1 p.m. Friday on ESPN-Plus. In the second game on Friday night, TCU (36-20) will meet Louisiana (36-21) at 7 p.m., also on ESPN-Plus.

The Florida Gators host a regional at Florida Ballpark in Gainesville, Fla., with the Gators (39-22) taking on Central Michigan (42-17) at noon on the ESPN streaming service, and then Oklahoma (37-20) will meet Liberty (37-21) on Friday at 5:30 p.m., also on ESPN-Plus.

Stanford (41-14) vs. Binghamton (22-28) will be played on Stanford’s home turf at 2 p.m. Friday on ESPN-Plus, followed by that team from San Marcos, Texas, Texas State University (45-12) taking on UC Santa Barbara (43-12) at 8 p.m. Friday, also on ESPN-Plus.

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Sports editor

Mitch Lucas is the sports editor for the Kilgore News Herald, and has been since June 1, 2002.

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