IRVING, Texas - After taking a winner-take-all game for the 2012 Conference USA regular season title, Rice will be the No.1 seed at the C-USA Baseball Championship presented by Trustmark, which begins Wednesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
The Owls secured a share of their sixth C-USA regular-season crown in seven years with a series victory at UCF on the final weekend. For Rice (39-15), it marks the 17th consecutive season that the Owls have won a conference championship, dating back to 1995, the final year of the Southwest Conference.
The 2012 Conference USA Championship presented by Trustmark will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play. Those eight will be split into two four-team pools (or pods), with the winner of each pod playing in a single championship game. Teams are assigned pods based on seed, which are determined by the order of finish in regular-season conference play.
Each team is guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play all three other teams in its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod advances to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play. In the case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance.
Game times are 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the championship game slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The championship game will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
Pod number one features No.1 seed Rice, No. 4 seed Southern Miss, No. 5 seed Memphis and No. 8 seed Houston. Pod number two includes No. 2 seed UCF, No. 3 seed Tulane, No. 6 seed East Carolina and No. 7 seed UAB.
Makeup of the Pods and Schedule of Play
Pod 1 (Seeds 1, 4, 5 and 8)
Rice vs. Southern Miss, Memphis and Houston
UCF vs. Tulane, East Carolina and UAB
Southern Miss vs. Rice, Memphis and Houston
Tulane vs. UCF, East Carolina and UAB
Pod 2 (Seeds 2, 3, 6 and 7)
Memphis vs. Rice, Southern Miss and Houston
East Carolina vs. UCF, Tulane and UAB
Houston vs. Rice, Southern Miss and Memphis
UAB vs. UCF, Tulane and East Carolina
Wednesday, May 23
Game 1 (5) Memphis vs. (4) Southern Miss 11:00 a.m.
Game 2 (8) Houston vs. (1) Rice 3:00 p.m.
Game 3 (6) East Carolina vs. (3) Tulane 7:00p
Thursday, May 24
Game 4 (7) UAB vs. (2) UCF 11:00 a.m.
Game 5 (8) Houston vs. (4) Southern Miss 3:00 p.m.
Game 6 (5) Memphis vs. (1) Rice 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 25
Game 7 (7) UAB vs. (3) Tulane 11:00 a.m.
Game 8 (6) East Carolina vs. (2) UCF 3:00 p.m.
Game 9 (8) Houston vs. (5) Memphis 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
Game 10 (3) Tulane vs. (2) UCF 11:00 a.m.
Game 11 (7) UAB vs. (6) East Carolina 3:00 p.m.
Game 12 (4) Southern Miss vs. (1) Rice 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 27 (televised by CBS Sports Network)
Championship Game 1:00 p.m.
*All Times Central
Each game of the championship from Wednesday through Saturday will be streamed live on ConferenceUSA.com. The championship game of the tournament on Sunday, May 27 will be televised live by CBS Sports Network, beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Regular season champion Rice is the defending tournament champion.