Mississippi's Mike Bianco spent his college playing days and early coaching career at LSU, a place where playing in the College World Series seems like a birthright.
Getting the Rebels to Omaha has been considerably more difficult.
But Ole Miss is finally part of college baseball's postseason showcase, preparing for its first CWS appearance since 1972 after beating host Louisiana-Lafayette on Monday in a super regional.
Bianco has transformed the Rebels from a Southeastern Conference afterthought to a powerhouse during 14 seasons in Oxford, but super regional heartbreak — including losses in 2005, '06, 07 and '09 — had become a part of the program's tough-luck lore.
That's all changed now. Ole Miss (46-19) will face Virginia (49-14) Sunday in the CWS opening round.