North Carolina State
Cal State Fullerton
Changes: Florida State out, N.C. State in
In the mix: Indiana, Florida State, Kansas State
There was only one significant change when it comes to national seeds with N.C. State replacing Florida State. The Seminoles still have a solid overall resume and head-to-head series win against the Wolfpack. However, they're 4-6 in their last 10 games -- a crucial metric the NCAA Selection Committee looks at -- along with a 14-15 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-9 mark on the road this spring. Additionally, the Seminoles went 0-4 this week, including three losses at the ACC tournament.
In a perfect world, I'd like to use the head-to-head metric as the go-to in this situation, but Florida State's skid in the last week is too much to overcome. Though the Wolfpack dropped the head-to-head series to FSU, they continue to have a strong resume, along with a good showing at the ACC tournament. Also in this perfect world, I think the ACC deserves four national seeds, but again, I won't believe that until I see it, as history would suggest. North Carolina State has an RPI of 7 with a 44-14 overall record, 18-10 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams, and perhaps most important, they're 7-3 in their last 10 contests.
As for other teams to watch as Selection Monday nears, it's important to keep close tabs on Indiana, Kansas State and perhaps even still Louisville.
The Ducks got some good news late Saturday night as the Hoosiers dropped a tough contest to Nebraska, creating a second Big 10 tournament title game. The Hoosiers continue to have a rather average resume to say the least, but a high RPI is their saving grace at the moment. IU is 9-9 vs. RPI Top 50, 15-9 on the road this spring, and are 6-4 in their last 10 contests. Indiana has to win the tournament title on Sunday to keep hope alive.
Kansas State might've wasted its chance at a national seed Saturday with a tough loss to Oklahoma. With the loss, the Wildcats head home, while the Sooners head to the Big 12 tournament title game. With that said, KSU might still get a strong look with an RPI of 18, 7-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50, 8-2 record in their last 10 contests and 12-9 road record.
Mississippi State and UCLA are no longer in the mix for one of our eight national seeds. The Bulldogs really needed to reach the SEC tournament finale to have even a chance after finishing fifth in the Southeastern Conference regular season standings, while the Bruins dropped a tough series to Stanford.
In the end, we get the feeling the final national seed is down to Oregon and Indiana, unless the NCAA decides to surprise us and give the ACC a fourth national seed. For now, though, we're liking Oregon's chances.
In the mix: Arkansas, Clemson
Surprisingly to some, there's no change in this department after Saturday's games around the country. We thought there might be an opportunity to move Arkansas in as a host site with a win over LSU, but the Razorbacks dropped the bout against the Tigers, thus didn't move in as one of the hosts.
With that said, it wouldn't be surprising if the Hogs had an NCAA Regional host on Monday. Though the Hogs still only have an RPI of 32, you're talking about a team that swept South Carolina on the road, has a 37-20 overall record, and of course, finished Southeastern Conference play with an 18-11 record. The Hogs also have 17 wins vs. RPI Top 50 teams, but also are just 5-5 in their last 10.
By comparison, Virginia Tech is the team gaining the most steam for a host site, replacing Clemson in Saturday morning's postseason snapshot. The Hokies are up to 11 in the latest RPI with a 38-19 overall record. Additionally, the Hokies are 9-1 in their 10, winners of eight-straight contests, and are a very respectable 13-8 on the road despite having the nation's No. 4 strength of schedule. The big strike against the Hokies at this point is a 13-14 mark vs. RPI Top 50.
Also by comparison, South Carolina, we're hearing, is in good shape to earn a host site going into Sunday. The Gamecocks stumbled in the SEC tournament, but still finished the season with a 17-12 league record, 39-18 overall record and 11-8 road record. South Carolina also had an 11-14 record vs. RPI Top 50 and played the nation's No. 17 strength of schedule. By comparison, Arkansas has played the nation's No. 49 strength of schedule.
On a lesser note, also keep an eye on Clemson. Though intel all points to the Tigers not being an NCAA Regional host, what may seem true isn't always the case. So, for comparison purposes, the Tigers, who struggled in the ACC tournament, have an RPI of 14, 39-20 overall record, 13-17 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
What fans must know going into Sunday is that you have two NCAA Regional host sites with essentially three teams vying for them -- South Carolina, Arkansas and Virginia Tech, with Clemson at least somewhere in the discussion.
Take your pick, it's a close race.