College | Story | 4/10/2019

Field of 64: April 10

Mike Rooney        
PG College Top 25
| College Player Rankings | College Player Database

While there is still much left to be played out on the field, it’s time to start thinking along with our esteemed NCAA baseball selection committee. As per usual, our focus will be on the 33 at-large bids and the 16 host sites.

The format will be as follows: the 31 automatic bids, followed by the 33 at-large bids, followed by the 16 host sites. We will seed the 16 host sites since that became a reality last season for the 2018 tournament. There will also be a list of teams who just missed being part of the field. Finally, we will include several observations from the process of attempting to select 64 teams.

This first version for 2019 will rely heavily on RPI. Even though RPI is just one of many metrics, 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 is their RPI as of April 9.

31 Automatic Bids by Conference

America East: Stony Brook (137)
AAC: East Carolina (16)
A10: VCU (43)
ACC: NC State (21)
ASUN: Liberty (72)

Big 12: Texas Tech (15)
Big East: Creighton (26)
Big South: Campbell (63)
Big Ten: Michigan (65)
Big West: UC Santa Barbara (5)

CAA: Charleston (99)
CUSA: Florida Atlantic (67)
Horizon: Wright State (101)
Ivy: Harvard (77)
MAAC: Canisius (167)

MAC: Miami (OH) (135)
MEAC: Coppin State (223)
MVC: Evansville (33)
MWC: San Jose State (129)
NEC: Bryant (59)

OVC: Morehead State (112)
Pac 12: UCLA (1)
Patriot: Navy (176)
SEC: Georgia (6)
Southern: Samford (147)

Southland: Sam Houston State (48)
SWAC: Southern (203)
Summit: Omaha (153)
Sun Belt: Coastal Carolina (27)
WCC: Loyola Marymount (43)
WAC: Sacramento State (86)

33 At-Large Bids

Teams 1-10
Oregon State (2)
Vandy (3)
Arkansas (4)
LSU (7)
Auburn (8)
Texas A&M (9)
Louisville (10)
Stanford (11)
Mississippi State (12)
Georgia Tech (14)

Teams 11-20
North Carolina (18)
Clemson (19)
Texas (20)
Ole Miss (23)
Arizona State (24)
Oklahoma State (29)
Indiana (30)
Connecticut (31)
Oklahoma (35)
Nebraska (39)

Teams 21-29
UC Irvine (64)
Baylor (45)
Indiana State (46)
Tennessee (13)
West Virginia (17)
Illinois (22)
BYU (34)
TCU (52)
Florida (32)

Last 4 In

Gonzaga (37)
Southern Miss (38)
Mizzou (25)
Oregon (28)

Teams in the final discussion

Miami (FL) (36)
St. Mary’s (71)
Dallas Baptist (49)
Louisiana Tech (42)
San Diego (50)
Arkansas State (74)
Pepperdine (54)
Jacksonville (55)
Cal (69)
Houston (70)

Interesting teams needing an RPI push

Florida State (96)
Washington (62)
Cal State Fullerton (78)
Texas State (80)
Iowa (83)
San Diego State (87)
Incarnate Word (90)
UT Arlington (91)
Virginia (100)
Tulane (105)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (111)
UTRGV (116)
New Mexico State (120)

16 host sites:

2. Oregon State
3. Georgia
4. Vanderbilt
5. Arkansas
6. Stanford
7. NC State
8. LSU

9. Texas A&M
10. Mississippi State
11. East Carolina
12. UC Santa Barbara
13. Arizona State
14. Texas Tech
15. Clemson
16. Georgia Tech

Five Observations

1. This is a banner year on the West Coast. There are star players and high-end teams. This projection includes five West Coast hosts.

2. The WCC is deep and the league’s RPIs are glorious. This projection includes three WCC teams. There is concern that these teams take each other down but the league currently owns five RPIs at 54 or better and seven RPIs at 83 or better. That’s a good foundation.

3. The winner of the Big 12 will have earned much deserved cache and that team should host regardless of RPI. There are seven teams with a legitimate chance to win the league. This one will be fun.

4. Ole Miss, Louisville, and Auburn were the next few considerations for a host. Ole Miss, despite losing two midweek games at Louisville, is the class of this group. Auburn’s poor health in the rotation is a huge long-term concern while Louisville has lost series to Connecticut, Georgia Tech and Clemson. A series win versus NC State is a must for repairing their hosting resume. 

5. If this projection holds, the Regional streaks owned by Florida State and Cal State Fullerton will end. The nation’s longest streak would be owned by Vanderbilt at 14 years in a row.

In the last few seasons, the following streaks would have ended:

Miami – 44
Florida State – 41
Fullerton – 27
Rice – 23

While Florida State has a conference tournament to hold as a long shot last resort, Cal State Fullerton needs to win the Big West outright. With UCI and UCSB having outstanding seasons, that also seems like a long shot.

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