The Houston Regional of the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament features three popular Houston-area schools in Rice, Sam Houston State and Prairie View A&M. Even further, Sam Houston first-year head coach is a former longtime Rice assistant under Wayne Graham, who admits he was rooting for the Bearkats to make the field of 64, but isn't rooting for them to win anymore.
Rice and Sam Houston have played each other twice this season already, and could play each other again for a spot in the Super Regional if they take care of business against Prairie View and Arkansas, respectively.
Whatever happens, this will be a reunion of sorts for a many Houston folks.
"We have mixed feelings because David is one of our own," Graham said of his longtime assistant, who left in the offseason.
"We were pulling for him to get in. We're not pulling for him to win."
"It is going to be exciting because we have friends and family there," said Pierce, the Southland Coach of the Year. "There are no easy regions. Every site is tough, but it is nice to go home and be at Rice. It is going to be a tough regional, and we are glad we are in. It really didn't matter where we play."
Read more about the Houston Regional at SB Nation Houston.