The ultimate underdog in the Houston Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament has to be the Prairie View A&M Panthers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), a league of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are rarely expected to compete with the larger schools for college baseball supremacy.
But Prairie View is no slouch and Rice would be wise not to overlook the Panthers in their first-round matchup on Friday. In 2006, it took a ninth-inning single with the bases loaded to keep Prairie View from upsetting Rice in the first round.
Panthers head coach Waskyla Cullivan is glad to be playing in Houston for the sake of the PV fan base.
"We felt we could bring the biggest crowd to Rice, as opposed to Baylor or Texas A&M," Cullivan told Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle.
The winner between Rice and Prairie View will face the winner between Sam Houston State and Arkansas for a chance to play in the Super Regional against the winner out of the Waco tournament.
Read more about the NCAA Baseball Tournament at SB Nation Houston.