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College | Story | 5/1/2019

Field of 64: May 1

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

There are three weekends left in the regular season and things are getting interesting. In addition to our typical format, we will look at potential Super Regional matchups (as per this projection) and other interesting items that came up during the selection process.

One additional item: we will briefly touch on what this tournament would look like if the “32 Hosts” concept was utilized for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. To be clear, that will not be the case. The “32 Hosts” idea hasn’t even been formally proposed yet.

And if you’re not familiar with this idea, here it is: the Regional format would be eliminated in favor of two sets of three-game series leading up to the Super Regional round. From a calendar standpoint, there would be a first round weekend, followed by a second round weekend, and then culminated with the Super Regional format we currently have. Three sets of best-of-three weekends would leave us with the eight Omaha teams.

Our projection 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.

Note: the number listed after each team is their RPI as of April 29.


31 Automatic Bids by Conference

America East: Stony Brook (98)
AAC: East Carolina (6)
A10: VCU (66)
ACC: Louisville (7)
ASUN: Liberty (70)

Big 12: Texas Tech (12)
Big East: Creighton (23)
Big South: Campbell (62)
Big Ten: Michigan (53)
Big West: UC Santa Barbara (13)

CAA: Elon (85)
CUSA: Southern Miss (41)
Horizon: Wright State (65)
Ivy: Harvard (100)
MAAC: Canisius (142)

MAC: Ball State (118)
MEAC: Coppin State (235)
MVC: Illinois State (29)
MWC: Fresno State (64)
NEC: Bryant (54)

OVC: Austin Peay (134)
Pac-12: UCLA (1)
Patriot: Navy (146)
SEC: Vanderbilt (2)
Southern: Samford (88)

Southland: Sam Houston State (68)
SWAC: Alabama State (264)
Summit: Omaha (201)
Sun Belt: Texas State (33)
WCC: BYU (32)
WAC: UTRGV (105)


33 At-Large Bids

Teams 1-10:
Arkansas (3)
Georgia (4)
Mississippi State (5)
Georgia Tech (8)
Oregon State (10)

Miami (Fla.) (11)
Stanford (15)
West Virginia (16)
LSU (17)
North Carolina (18)

Teams 11-20:
Texas A&M (19)
Illinois (20)
Ole Miss (21)
Baylor (22)
Oklahoma State (24)

Missouri (25)
NC State (27)
Indiana (28)
Dallas Baptist (31)
Indiana State (34)

Teams 21-29:
Arizona State (39)
Oklahoma (35)
UC Irvine (42)
California (47)
Nebraska (38)

Duke (46)
Iowa (61)
Florida State (57)
Clemson (37)

Last 4 IN

Tennessee (9)
Auburn (14)
Connecticut (26)
Florida (30)

Teams in the Discussion

Gonzaga (56)
Oregon (36)
FAU (52)
Louisiana Tech (55)
Houston (48)
Evansville (49)
Loyola Marymount (78)
UTA (79)
Coastal Carolina (59)
Wake Forest (60)
Tulane (74)
Georgia Southern (63)


16 Host Sites

1 UCLA vs. 16 Ole Miss
2 Vanderbilt vs. 15 West Virginia
3 Oregon State vs. 14 Miami
4 Arkansas vs. 13 LSU
5 Stanford vs. 12 UC Santa Barbara
6 East Carolina vs. 11 Texas Tech
7 Georgia Tech vs. 10 Georgia
8 Mississippi State vs.  9 Louisville


Observations

1. We were able to award 27 of the 33 at-large bids with relative ease. Then things got dicey.

2. Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Connecticut represented the Last 4 Ingroup and this had everything to do with league record. Connecticut is a lock minus the fact that they have scuffled in a fairly mediocre AAC (by its standards). The aforementioned SEC schools must get to 14 wins in league play to feel any kind of confidence that an at-large bid is within reach. And all three schools are in jeopardy there. The health of the Auburn pitching staff will be a key element to their SEC finish.

3. ALERT… bubble bursting teams lurking in the area! Here are some teams who MUST win their conference tournaments in order for bubble teams to have their best chance: Texas State, Creighton, Illinois State, Bryant and BYU.

4. The RPI appears to be undervaluing Oregon State and Stanford (in our opinion). These two clubs will be an interesting study as to how much the committee relies on RPI for seeding.


32 Hosts

Finally, if the “32 Hosts” format were in play for 2019, there would be several interesting No. 2 seeds that would host a first round matchup. Let’s start with schools that would be hosting an NCAA baseball Regional for the first time in the Super Regional era (since 1999):

Creighton 
Missouri
Illinois State
Texas State 
Indiana State

And let’s also look at several northern schools that would get a chance to showcase baseball during a presumably warmer time of the year:

Indiana
Illinois
Connecticut



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