For the eighth time in program history, the Missouri State Bears have been selected to play in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The Bears earned the No. 3 seed in the Coral Gables (Fla.) Regional as part of the 64-team NCAA field that was announced Monday morning.

Making their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years, the Bears (39-20) will face UCF (43-15)–which finished second in the Conference USA regular-season race–in opening-round action Friday (June 1). Top seed and Miami (Fla.) and No. 4 seed Stony Brook make up the other half of the regional. The host Hurricanes (36-21) fell in the ACC Tournament title game and will be making their 40th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, while the Seawolves (46-11) claimed the America East championship after going 21-3 in conference play.

In their last Championship appearance in 2003, the Bears went 3-1 against Coastal Carolina and host Nebraska to claim the Lincoln (Neb.) Regional, then swept Ohio State in the Super Regional round to advance to the school’s first Division I College World Series appearance. Missouri State is 13-15 all-time in NCAA Division I Tournament play and has won at least two games in each of their last five trips to a regional.

Missouri State was one of three Missouri Valley Conference teams selected for the NCAA Tournament, marking the first time since the 2007 season the league has earned multiple bids and the first time in 12 years the MVC has place three teams in the Championship. MVC Tournament champ Creighton (26-28) drew the No. 4 seed in the Los Angeles Regional and will face No. 2 national seed UCLA as its opening-round opponent. Additionally, league regular-season champion Indiana State (41-17) secured the third seed in the Eugene (Ore.) Regional and a date with No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton in the first round.

Regional play continues through Sunday (June 4) with a double-elimination format. The 16 regional winners will advance to the Super Regional round, which will be contested June 8-11, with the eight winners of the three-game, head-to-head series moving on to the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb., June 15-26.

Tickets for the Coral Gables Regional are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 305-284-2263. Ticket packages for the entire Coral Gables Regional are $90 for field box, $60 for chairback, $45 for adult general admission and $30 for youth, seniors and students. Those packages will go on sale at 9 a.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday. Individual day passes will go on sale later this week. The UM ticket office will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9 – 5 p.m. (Eastern). Additional details pertaining to MSU’s NCAA Regional appearance, including game times, will be released as it becomes available.