Clemson squeezes in

College of Charleston freshman pitcher Bailey Ober is NCAA tournament-bound (photo by Shane Roper)

South Carolina will host Big South champion Campbell in a first-round NCAA Tournament game Friday night (7 p.m.) at the Columbia Regional but was denied a top eight national seed for the second year in a row.

Maryland and Old Dominion also are in the Columbia Regional.

The College of Charleston (41-17) received an automatic bid to this week's NCAA Tournament by winning the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament in its first year in the league, but received a surprisingly low No. 4 seed. The Cougars will play host Florida in Gainesville on Friday night at 7 p.m..

The Gators are the No. 2 overall national seed. North Carolina and Long Beach State also are in the Florida regional.

Clemson (36-23) will play as a No. 3 seed against No. 2 Oregon at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday in the Nashville Regional. No. 1 Vanderbilt will play No. 4 Xavier.

South Carolina (41-17) is hosting a regional for the fifth straight year. The Gamecocks won back-to-back College World Series titles in 2010 and 2011 and advanced to the CWS championship series in 2012.

The Gamecocks were on the bubble for one of the top eight national seeds going into last week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., but lost to Mississippi State (12-0) and Florida (7-2). South Carolina fell from No. 8 to No. 13 over the last week in the NCAA's Ratings Percentage Index ranking.

The top eight national seeds, in order: Oregon State, Florida, Virginia, Indiana, Florida State, Louisiana-Lafayette, TCU and LSU.

South Carolina lost a three-game super regional to North Carolina in Chapel Hill last June.

Clemson is No. 49 in the RPI. The Tigers have made the NCAA Tournament in all but one season (2008) since embattled Jack Leggett started as head coach in 1994.

First-round NCAA Tournament games start Friday or Saturday, depending on the double-elimination regional.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff