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Thursday, June 24, 2021

NCAA Regional matchups are set in the Swamp

No. 15 Florida will take on USF in the first round Friday

Florida's Jacob Young in a game against Jacksonville on March 14. Young and the Gators welcome Miami, South Alabama and South Florida to Florida Ballpark for regional competition beginning Friday.
Florida's Jacob Young in a game against Jacksonville on March 14. Young and the Gators welcome Miami, South Alabama and South Florida to Florida Ballpark for regional competition beginning Friday.

The first round of the Road to Omaha begins Friday afternoon in Gainesville, Florida.

The NCAA selection committee made their decisions on Monday to assign 64 teams into 16 separate regions, including the home of the No. 15 Gators, Florida Ballpark. Florida welcomes Miami, South Florida and South Alabama for the weekend tournament.

This is the 17th time a regional will take place in Gainesville and the 36th time Florida has earned a spot in the NCAA Regional.

Florida (38-20) enters the Regional after falling in the semifinals of the SEC Championship tournament to the Tennessee Volunteers.

Despite the fresh wound, a larger pennant potentially awaits the Gators at the end of the line.

Miami (32-19) was recently knocked out of the ACC tournament after mustering five total runs in losses to Duke and Florida State. The second-seeded Hurricanes beat the Gators twice opening weekend, including a ninth-inning comeback on February 20.

The third-seeded South Alabama Jaguars and fourth-seeded South Florida Bulls round out the region. Both teams took their respective conference crowns, the Jaguars in the Sun Belt and the Bulls in the American Athletic Conference.

South Alabama is on fire with a five-game win streak to dominate their tournament, while South Florida limps into the NCAA Regional with an average overall record of 28-27. Florida faced neither of the two teams in 2021.

The first bout between the Gators and South Florida will take place on Friday at noon. Tickets are available online, and the action will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Contact Jesse Richardson at jrichardson@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352

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