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College : : Story
College postseason update: May 25
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Sunday, May 25, 2014

 

We're just a few days away from the NCAA Division I Selection Committee convening in Indianapolis, Ind., and putting together the field of 64, and of course, ordering the always-important protected top eight national seeds.


Though the postseason picture is always fluid throughout the week of conference tournaments, we'll update how we view the national seed and hosting situations after each day of action.


Here's Sunday's report, which includes a roundup of the national seeds, regional hosts and teams trending up or down when it comes to postseason at-large bids.



NATIONAL SEEDS


1. Florida: The Gators have stormed back with a vengeance since losing the opening game of the SEC tournament. UF has the nation’s top RPI, is 40-20 overall and has a 15-9 record vs. RPI Top 25 teams, 25-14 vs. RPI Top 50 and 32-18 vs. RPI Top 100. Those are outstanding metrics, and the Gators are the leader to be the top national seed.


2. Virginia: The Cavaliers have an RPI of 2 even after going 1-2 in the ACC tournament, and remain an easy lock to be a top eight national seed. Virginia has a 4-5 record vs. RPI Top 25, 14-8 vs. RPI Top 50 and 25-11 vs. RPI Top 100


3. Oregon State: The Beavers evened up their series against USC, and remain a strong lock to be a top eight national seed. OSU possesses a strong resume, including an RPI of 6, a 13-5 record vs. RPI Top 50 and a non-conference RPI of 16. OSU also is 7-3 in its last 10 contests.


4. Florida State: Though the Seminoles won’t play for the ACC tournament title because of a loss to Maryland, they still had a successful 2-1 week in Greensboro, N.C. FSU’s RPI is sitting at 3 nationally, and this team has tallied 14 wins vs. RPI Top 50 clubs.


5. Indiana: Another test, another win for the Hoosiers. IU had a tough bout against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament, and took care of business to setup a Big Ten tournament title game against Nebraska. IU’s RPI is sitting at 4 nationally, and this team has an 18-8 road record to go with an 8-7 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 9-1 record over their last 10 contests.


6. Louisiana-Lafayette: As we explained in Saturday’s report, the Cajuns only were dropping out of the top eight mix with a poor showing at the Sun Belt tournament. Instead, the Ragin’ Cajuns, to no surprise, took care of business and will face Texas-Arlington for the conference automatic bid. ULL’s RPI is 5 with an overall record of 52-7.


7. Texas Christian: As was the case Saturday morning, the Horned Frogs remain a national seed after beating Baylor to advance to the Big 12 tournament title game against Oklahoma State. To be concise and to the point, the winner of tomorrow’s TCU and OSU game likely will grab a national seed with both teams continuing to rise in the RPI. TCU has an RPI of 12 with a 7-6 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 15-8 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 24-14 mark vs. RPI Top 100.


8. Louisiana State: What a wild past couple of weeks it has been for the Tigers. Just over a week ago, the Tigers were considered a team that needed to do some work to get a host site. Now, enough has broken their way that they have a very good shot to nab one of the top eight national seeds. It is not void of stiff competition, though, with teams such as Ole Miss, Miami, Cal Poly and South Carolina also in the mix, with Cal Poly and South Carolina looking the least likely right now. Going inside LSU’s resume, the Tigers are 43-14 overall, have an RPI of 8, are 4-7 vs. RPI Top 25, 15-12 vs. RPI Top 50 and 22-12 vs. RPI Top 100, in addition to an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. Though the Tigers have a non-conference RPI of 36, the committee absolutely could choose to hold a non-conference SOS of 269 against Paul Mainieri’s club.




REGIONAL HOSTS


Mississippi: Rebels fans will be discouraged to see LSU as the No. 8 national seed in this morning’s postseason report, but they’re still strongly in the mix for a national seed. As a matter of fact, if not the Tigers, the Rebels are my next choice. Ole Miss needs LSU to get knocked off in the SEC tournament finale. Meanwhile, Ole Miss has an RPI of 13, a non-conference RPI of 18 with a 128 non-conference SOS. Also, the Rebels finished the season 15-7 on the road, along with a 6-4 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 15-13 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 24-16 record vs. RPI Top 100. Additionally, don’t forget the Rebels finished the regular season as the SEC West Division champs, ahead of LSU, of course.


Miami: It’s hard to imagine the Hurricanes getting a national seed unless they leapfrog Virginia or Florida State. Should the ‘Canes get a national seed, that would mean either Virginia or FSU gets left out of the mix, or the SEC only gets one national seed. We don’t see those scenarios playing out. The Hurricanes have an RPI of 15, a non-conference RPI of 45 to go with a non-conference SOS of 45. Meanwhile, UM is 4-5 vs. RPI Top 25, 11-11 vs. RPI Top 50 and 23-12 vs. RPI Top 100, along with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games.


Cal Poly: File the Mustangs away as a potential surprise national seed. With no wins vs. RPI Top 25 clubs and just four wins vs. RPI Top 50, it’s safe to say it would surprise me a little to see Cal Poly as one of the top eight national seeds on Monday. However, the Mustangs took care of business in the Big West and on the West Coast, and perhaps that resonates with the committee.


South Carolina: The Gamecocks are a lock to host an NCAA Regional, but are on the outside looking in for a national seed right now. South Carolina’s resume took a step back this week, but does include some impressive metrics. For instance, the Gamecocks, which have an RPI of 14, also had a non-conference RPI of 7 to go with a 31 non-conference SOS. Maybe the Gamecocks can find a way to get into the top eight, but it’s looking unlikely at this point.


Rice: Nothing has changed for the Owls this week. There was a chance they could fall out of a host site with a poor showing in the Conference USA tournament. However, the Owls have taken care of business in that tournament and will face UTSA in the conference tourney title game. Rice has an RPI of 8 with a 3-6 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 8-10 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 27-16 record vs. RPI Top 100.


Oklahoma State: As we said in the analysis about TCU, the Cowboys will be a national seed on Monday if they beat the Horned Frogs tomorrow afternoon in the Big 12 tournament title game. Sure, the Cowboys have a weak non-conference SOS, but they’ve been red-hot for a while now, won the Big 12 regular season title, and now can win the conference tourney title. OSU has an RPI of 18 with a very impressive 17-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50, among other very positive metrics.


Vanderbilt: The Commodores got a little luck Saturday afternoon when Oklahoma State beat Texas twice, thus likely knocking the Longhorns out of the hosting discussion. Vandy didn’t play well in the SEC tournament, but has an excellent resume with an RPI of 7, 8-8 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 19-16 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 25-17 record vs. RPI Top 100. The ‘Dores, of course, also played a rigorous non-conference schedule, including a road series against Long Beach State earlier in the season. VU is looking good right now, but Washington, and even Houston, remain threats.


Louisville: With Washington’s RPI dipping down to 27 after a home series loss to UCLA, we’re giving a slight edge to the Cardinals for the last host site. Typically, the NCAA Selection Committee likes to promote geographical balance, certainly leading one to believe UW still has a good chance to host. It does. But UL has an RPI of 19, 45 wins and has a chance to add a conference tournament title after already winning the American Athletic Conference regular season crown. We could flip things back to Washington if the Cardinals don’t beat Houston on Sunday. There’s also a chance we could flip the final host site to the Cougars, who enter the title game with an RPI of 11.




AT-LARGE BIDS



TRENDING UP


Cal State Fullerton: The Titans finished off a home series win over Cal State Northridge and now have won seven-straight contests, something the committee should love. Fullerton has an RPI of 54 with a 4-3 record vs. RPI Top 25, 10-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-17 record vs. RPI Top 100. Conference finish isn’t great for the Titans, but the strong finish should be enough to get them into the field.


North Carolina: It sounds like the Tar Heels needed to win Saturday afternoon to put themselves in a great position for the NCAA postseason. Well, that happened, as the Tar Heels captured a win over Maryland. With the victory, the Tar Heels are up to 40 in the RPI with an 8-12 record vs. RPI Top 50. It’s not an absolute lock, but the Tar Heels should be fine when we reassess the bracket in the morning.


Old Dominion: We said earlier this week the Monarchs needed to do something special this week to help their NCAA postseason case. Well, despite getting eliminated from the C-USA tournament by top-seeded Rice, the Monarchs still went 3-2 in the tourney, putting themselves in a better situation from a postseason standpoint. ODU has an RPI of 35, a winning road record and a 21-18 mark vs. RPI Top 100. The only possible hiccup is if UTSA beats Rice in the tourney title game. Does C-USA still get three bids?


San Diego State: I think the Aztecs are in good shape, but they certainly helped their case Saturday with a pair of wins in the Mountain West tournament over Nevada and UNLV. SDSU will now face UNLV a second time for the title. The Aztecs are up to 44 in the RPI with an 8-6 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 14-9 mark vs. RPI Top 100. The committee also should like the fact the Aztecs finished strong, sitting at 7-3 in their last 10 contests.



TRENDING DOWN


UC Irvine: Could the Anteaters really go from almost winning the Big West regular season title to not making the NCAA postseason field at all? It’s possible, as the Anteaters, after getting swept by Long Beach State over the weekend, have now lost 8 of their last 10, and are down to 43 in the RPI. UC Irvine will be sweating things out on Monday.


Duke: The Blue Devils entered the ACC tournament with a 16-14 conference record, but a poor overall RPI. In other words, they needed to make a statement to make the NCAA postseason field. Instead, Duke won just one game and has an RPI of 81. The Blue Devils, barring a huge surprise, will miss the postseason. However, there’s no doubt coach Chris Pollard and his staff raised the bar this spring.



STAYING ALIVE


UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos are very much a long shot to make the postseason, but they’re at least keeping hope alive by taking care of business against UC Davis, winning five of their last six contests. UCSB has an RPI of 51 and has some solid non-conference wins. However, finishing .500 in the Big West and having a 5-8 record vs. RPI Top 50 teams likely will be the death knell. 




BUBBLE BUSINESS


• Liberty is a team bubble teams everywhere needed to win today. The Flames have an RPI of 28 with a 41-16 overall record, thus was going to be in the NCAA postseason field no matter what happened today. That, however, means the Big South, as opposed to just one bid, will get a second bid to the postseason. Winthrop faces Campbell for the second bid for the league. Interestingly, Campbell, if you remember, is the team that was snubbed from the NCAA postseason last year despite tallying an astonishing 49-10 overall record. 


• Bryant won the Northeast Conference automatic bid by beating Sacred Heart this afternoon. Chances weren’t good the Bulldogs would’ve gotten into the field of 64 without winning the NEC, but with 40-plus wins and an RPI of 42, it’s best for bubble teams the Bulldogs went ahead and captured the NEC crown anyway.


• Dallas Baptist was the most popular team of the night for the bubble teams out there. The Patriots already were in good shape for an at-large bid, but the MVC could’ve gone from a two-bid league to a three-bid league if Illinois State was able to beat the Patriots in the MVC title game. Instead, the Patriots prevailed and the league looks like a sure-fire two-bid league with the Patriots and Indiana State leading the way.


• Pepperdine is another team that had the bubble teams smiling late Saturday night, beating Loyola Marymount, who had an RPI in the 100s, to claim the West Coast Conference automatic bid. With that result, the WCC will be a one-bid league with the Waves leading the charge.




TICKETS PUNCHED


NOTE: You can see the full list of automatic bids in our auto bid tracker


Southeastern Louisiana (Southland)


North Dakota State (Summit)


Youngstown State (Horizon)


College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic)


George Mason (Atlantic 10)


Bryant (NEC)


Dallas Baptist (Missouri Valley)


Pepperdine (West Coast)



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