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May 28, 2012The Kentucky baseball team earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Monday and will face third-seeded Kent State on Friday to open a double-elimination regional in Gary, Ind.
Regional host and top-seeded Purdue (44-12) will face Valparaiso (35-23) in the other half of the four-team regional.
Kent State (41-17) won the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the fourth straight time on Saturday.
UK (43-16) - one win away from tying the school history - was recently considered a candidate for a national No. 1 seed and certainly a strong contender to be one of the 16 host teams. However, UK finished the regular season with four consecutive losses (once at Murray State and three times at Mississippi State).
The Wildcats then went 2-1 and lost in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament last week, again to Mississippi State, in Hoover, Ala.
Three SEC teams were among the eight named as national No. 1 seeds - No. 1 overall Florida, No. 7 LSU and No. 8 South Carolina.
UK will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008.
The winner of the Gary Regional will play the winner of the four-team Eugene (Ore.) Regional in a Super-Regional Series with a trip to the College World Series on the line.
Stay with CatsIllustrated.com for more coverage of the NCAA Tournament selections.