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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Field of 64: April 19

Mike Rooney        
 



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| College Notebook: April 18 | College Player Database

Now that we are halfway through most conference seasons, it’s time to start thinking along with the NCAA Selection Committee. Our focus will be on the 33 at-large bids and the 16 host sites.

Our format will be as follows: the 31 automatic bids, followed by the 33 at-large bids, followed by the 16 host sites which includes the Top 8 National Seeds. There will also be a list of teams not selected including a few specialty categories.

This first version of the Field of 64 for 2018 will rely heavily on RPI. Even though RPI is just one of many metrics used, it is a starting point for the committee and it is interesting to see where a team’s RPI will put them in the at-large bid discussion. That said, there is a long way to go regarding RPI as there is a lot of season left.

Note: the number listed after each team will be their RPI as of the date of this feature.

31 Automatic Bids by Conference

America East: Hartford (190)
AAC: South Florida (25)
A10: Saint Louis (124)
ACC: North Carolina State (15)
ASUN: Stetson (30)

Big 12: Texas (24)
Big East: St. John’s (51)
Big South: Campbell (146)
Big Ten: Michigan (49)
Big West: Hawaii (113)

CAA: College of Charleston (41)
CUSA: FAU (18)
Horizon: Wright State (117)
Ivy: Yale (169)
MAAC: Canisius (155)

MAC: Kent State (61)
MEAC: Coppin State (284)
MVC: Dallas Baptist (50)
MWC: Nevada (42)
NEC: Wagner (68)

OVC: Tennessee Tech (27)
Pac 12: Stanford (2)
Patriot: Army (69)
SEC: Florida (1)
Southern: Samford (70)

Southland: Sam Houston State (58)
SWAC: Alabama State (259)
Summit: Oral Roberts (183)
Sun Belt: Coastal Carolina (20)
WCC: San Francisco (115)

WAC: Grand Canyon (184)

33 At-Large Bids:

Texas Tech (3)
Arkansas (4)
Ole Miss (5)
Oregon State (6)
East Carolina (7)

Georgia (8)
Connecticut (9)
Florida State (10)
North Carolina (11)
Texas A&M (12)

Wichita State (13)
Auburn (14)
Kentucky (16)
Northeastern (17)
Clemson (19)

Duke (21)
Vandy (22)
Indiana (23)
Creighton (26)
Jacksonville (29)

Arizona (31)
Louisville (32)
South Alabama (33)
Oklahoma (34)
Illinois (35)

Missouri (36)
Minnesota (37)
Oklahoma State (38)
UNLV (39)
Georgia Tech (40)

Troy (43)
Iowa (44)
Ohio State (45)

First 10 Out:

UCLA (46)
LSU (47)
Southern Miss (48)
FGCU (52)
Washington (53)

Alabama (54)
UCF (55)
Little Rock (56)
TCU (59)
San Diego State (60)

Interesting teams needing an RPI push

Louisiana Tech (62)
Missouri State (65)
Bradley (78)

.500 or below in RPI range

West Virginia (28)
Miami (57)
Cal State Fullerton (66)

Interesting programs with currently untenable RPIs

Virginia (99)
UNCG (104)
UNCW (105)
Cal (110)
Rice (114)

Host Sites

Here are the 16 host sites (ranked in order as per the new seeding rules) with the Top 8 being our National Seeds:

1. Florida
2. Stanford
3. Texas Tech
4. Arkansas
5. Oregon State
6. Ole Miss
7. East Carolina
8. NC State

9. Georgia
10. Florida State
11. North Carolina
12. Texas A&M
13. Kentucky
14. FAU
15. Connecticut
16. Auburn

Five Observations

1. The SEC is in play to earn a record-tying 10 Regional bids (SEC in 2014, ACC in 2016). Missouri is the key to that as the Tigers appear to be the 10th team currently. And it is strange to see LSU with an RPI in the 40s with just five weeks left in the regular season.

2. Here are four teams who feel like locks to get in yet their RPI is currently letting them down: LSU, UCLA, Southern Miss and UCF.

3. The Big Ten earned six bids in this projection. If that actually played out this conference will have earned 19 Regional bids in the last four seasons. 

4. It was fun for ranking No. 9 through 16 to matter. And it was also enjoyable to award host sites to East Carolina, Georgia, FAU and Connecticut. 

5. While the Big West was relegated to one bid, often overlooked leagues like the Sun Belt (3), Atlantic Sun (2), Mountain West (2) and Big East (2) scooped up multiple bids. 



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