Last week, it was Clemson. This week, the latest NCAA tournament projections have South Carolina baseball landing in a regional hosted by Duke.
D1Baseball.com released its projections for the 64-team field Tuesday, and after a weekend series win over Missouri, USC remained as a No. 2 seed but moved from Clemson to Durham, North Carolina.
The move is an upgrade for the Gamecocks — Clemson is in contention to be one of the top eight seeds in line to host a super regional, while Duke has just recently entered the hosting discussion as one of the nation's top 16 teams.
That's in line with Carolina's continued late-season surge. Coach Mark Kingston's squad has won four consecutive SEC series, three against ranked opponents, for the first time since 2012, and has risen in RPI to 40th. On Monday, D1Baseball and Baseball America also included the squad in their top 25 rankings for the first time this year.
South Carolina beat Duke in the 2016 Columbia Regional.
In addition to Duke, South Carolina's projected regional includes three-seed St. John's and four-seed Davidson. The Gamecocks faced Davidson earlier this season, defeating the Wildcats on March 27, 5-4. The Red Storm, meanwhile, have an RPI of 32 but are the only team in the top 50 besides USC to have three losses to teams outside the top 200.
Clemson remains in line to host a regional, but all of the three teams the Tigers are now slated to host would be much further away from home than USC would have — No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 Yale.
USC tournament résumé
Record: 30-21, 15-12 SEC
Standings: Fifth in SEC, third in SEC East division
Rankings: No. 23 in Baseball America, No. 25 in D1Baseball.com
Best wins: Home sweep of LSU (RPI 49), road series win over Vanderbilt (RPI 38), home series win over Ole Miss (RPI 8), home series win over Missouri (RPI 37)
Worst losses: Loss to Presbyterian (RPI 275), loss to Furman (RPI 129), loss to The Citadel (RPI 251), one home loss in series to Charleston Southern (RPI 243), one home loss in series to VMI (RPI 167)