LSU's late season excellence, coupled with an undefeated run in the SEC Tournament, has earned the Tigers the #4 national seed, announced today by the NCAA.

Southeastern Louisiana, an at-large bid from the Southland Conference, was the only other team from Louisiana selected to participate.  Louisiana, Louisiana Tech and McNeese State, all of whom were mentioned at some point in time as at-large candidates, were excluded.

According to the selection committee, Auburn, Texas A&M, UCLA and Michigan were the final teams selected.  Miami, Connecticut, Old Dominion and South Carolina were the first four teams left out.  The omission snaps Miami's record string of 44 straight tournament appearances.

The Baton Rouge regional features #1 LSU, #2 Southeastern, #3 Rice and #4 Texas Southern.  Rice qualified by winning the Conference USA tournament.  Texas Southern has the worst record of anyone in the field.  LSU will play Texas Southern at 2:30 Friday afternoon.

The Baton Rouge regional is paired with Hattiesburg, where Southern Miss is the #1 seed.  #2 Mississippi State, #3 South Alabama (the Sun Belt automatic qualifier) and Illinois-Chicago round out the field.

As expected, Oregon State is the #1 national seed, followed by North Carolina, Florida, LSU, Texas Tech, TCU, Louisville and Stanford.

The SEC led the way with eight bids, followed by the ACC and Big 12 with seven. The Big Ten got a record five bids, with the Pac 10 earning four.

You can see the bracket here.