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College  | Story  | 4/18/2013

College Field of 64: April 18

Kendall Rogers     

  • It's always good to see some consistency, and in this week's Field of 64 projections, the national seeds once again were relatively easy to put together. Only Indiana moved out as a national seed after getting swept by Michigan State and losing a midweek bout to Ball State. Meanwhile, Oregon, which is neck and neck with rival Oregon State atop the Pac-12 standings, moved in as a national seed. The Ducks are just 12-7 vs. RPI Top 100, but conference standing matters greatly in this situation, as the committee often has suggested. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers, for instance, aren't out of the mix as a national seed all together, as they're still 4-1 vs. RPI Top 25 and 9-7 vs. RPI Top 100 … With a rather favorable schedule down the stretch, Mississippi State will be a team to watch. The Bulldogs are playing a good brand of baseball, have a high RPI, a good resume, and finish the year with Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina at home, as well as Vanderbilt and Ole Miss on the road. Should the Bulldogs take those three home series, and steal one of those two road series, watch out.

  • While the national seeds were easy to put together, the same cant' be said about this week's NCAA Regional hosts. Kentucky moved out as a host site, while Mississippi State moved in after sweeping Texas A&M on the road. The Wildcats must finish the final month on a strong note, but are squarely still in the mix for a host spot. For instance, the Wildcats are 7-8 in the SEC (must improve), 9-8 vs. RPI Top 50 and 12-11 vs. RPI Top 100. Other potential host sites to watch out for include Clemson, UCLA, Kentucky and Mississippi. Clemson continues to rise and was very close to overtaking South Carolina as the Palmetto State host site this week. The Tigers have an RPI of 17, but the 7-8 record vs. RPI Top 50 teams was a turn off at this stage in the game. UCLA could satisfy yet another West Coast host site, but I don't see the West Coast, at this moment, getting five host sites in addition to Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton. Should the area get another site, UCLA would certainly be it despite having a blah resume. The Bruins are 7-5 in the Pac-12 and have an RPI of 22. But the 4-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams is a turn off right now. Ole Miss is the wild card down the stretch if it can finish strong, including earning a home series win over rival Mississippi State. The Rebels have an RPI of 21, but again, like some other teams in this area, have just a 5-8 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams.

  • This week's field of 64 was very tough to put together when we got down to the last few bubble teams. For now, Texas A&M, Campbell, Delaware and Seton Hall were the first four teams out of our field this week. The Aggies have a very good RPI, bubble-wise, at 39, but that's where the impressive nature of their resume ends. A&M has a 6-9 record in the SEC, a dismal 3-10 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 5-13 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and a 7-16 record vs. RPI Top 100. That's not postseason worthy at this point, making this weekend's series at Arkansas very, very important. Campbell, let's face it, is one of those teams we'd love to see in the postseason, but that schedule Greg Goff has talked about changing , is really hurting them right now. Despite having an exceptional 31-8 overall record, the Camels still have an RPI of 62 with just an 0-1 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 4-1 vs. RPI Top 100. Strength of schedule may keep the Camels from being a serious postseason contender in late May. Delaware would be in this week's field had it taken that series from UNC Wilmington last weekend. However, I don't see the Colonial Athletic Association getting three bids at this juncture, and for now, UNCW and William & Mary lead the way. Delaware has an RPI of 30 with a good overall record. The Blue Hens also are just 2-6 vs. RPI Top 50, though. Lastly, Seton Hall is a rising team to keep an eye on the next month. The Pirates still have some work to do, but have marquee series wins over Pepperdine and Houston. SHU sits sixth in the Big East -- but only two games out of first place -- has an RPI of 39 and has a 3-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50. Keep an eye on these guys moving forward.

  • Every year on Selection Monday, you hear the NCAA committee talk about conference RPI and how that factors into the equation. Well, in our latest projections, you'll notice Troy is included in the field, giving the Sun Belt three bids. Well, there's a reason for that. The top three conferences from an RPI standpoint are the ACC, SEC and Pac 12. No surprise, right? Well, in the No. 4 spot? You guessed it, the Sun Belt. If that holds true the rest of the season, there's little doubt from my end of things the league will warrant three postseason bids, making Troy a very viable candidate. The Trojans actually have a decent resume. The Trojans have an RPI of 63, but also have a 25-11 overall record, 6-4 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 10-8 vs. RPI Top 100. That's a postseason resume at this juncture.

  • Another interesting situation from a postseason standpoint is the Pac 12, particularly the situations with both Arizona and Stanford. The Wildcats have an RPI of 59 and the Cardinal has an RPI of 110, yet both teams are in our field of 64. Why? Well, for one, the RPI appears to be kind of skewed at this point, with Rice, for instance, well into the 60s from an RPI standpoint. We all know that's not going to stay that way the rest of the spring. The same goes for Stanford, which actually is tied with UCLA for third in the Pac-12. That team would get in as of today, citing conference standing as the reason. Furthermore, the Cardinal is 3-0 vs. RPI Top 50 and 8-6 vs. RPI Top 100. Not great, but certainly not RPI in the 100s type of resume. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are tied with Arizona State -- a host site -- for fifth in the Pac 12. The Wildcats are playing very well, 9-1 in their last 10 games, and have an 8-8 mark vs. RPI Top 50. Again conference standing, and to an extent, RPI, is in the Wildcats' favor right now.



    * The projected national seeds are listed on the left, seed denoted in parenthesis. Regional on the right matches up to be projected NCAA Super Regional

    College Baseball Field of 64 (April 18)
    Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional

    1. North Carolina* (1)
    4. Maine*

    2. Coastal Carolina*
    3. Alabama

    Norman, Okla., Regional

    1. Oklahoma*
    4. Wichita State*

    2. Arkansas
    3. Stanford

    Baton Rouge, La., Regional

    1. LSU* (2)
    4. Jackson State*

    2. South Alabama*
    3. Southern Mississippi*

    Bloomington, Ind., Regional

    1. Indiana*
    4. Kent State*

    2. Notre Dame
    3. Arizona

    Nashville, Tenn., Regional

    1. Vanderbilt (3)
    4. Holy Cross*

    2. Michigan State
    3. Central Arkansas

    Atlanta Regional

    1. Georgia Tech
    4. Bryant*

    2. Mississippi
    3. Florida Gulf Coast

    Corvallis, Ore., Regional

    1. Oregon State* (4)
    4. South Dakota State*

    2. UC Irvine
    3. Virginia Tech

    Louisville, Ky., Regional

    1. Louisville*
    4. Belmont*

    2. Florida
    3. Gonzaga*

    Charlottesville, Va., Regional

    1. Virginia (5)
    4. Rider*

    2. Kentucky
    3. William & Mary

    Starkville, Miss., Regional

    1. Mississippi State
    4. North Florida*

    2. Clemson
    3. Sam Houston State*

    Fullerton, Calif., Regional

    1. Cal State Fullerton* (6)
    4. Dartmouth*

    2. UCLA
    3. Houston

    Tempe, Ariz., Regional

    1. Arizona State
    4. Saint Louis*

    2. Rice
    3. New Mexico*

    Tallahassee, Fla., Regional

    1. Florida State (7)
    4. Bethune-Cookman*

    2. Mercer
    3. Florida Atlantic*

    Columbia, S.C., Regional

    1. South Carolina
    4. Wisconsin-Milwaukee*

    2. Miami (Fla.)
    3. Troy

    Eugene, Ore., Regional

    1. Oregon (8)
    4. Cal State Bakersfield*

    2. San Diego
    3. Cal Poly

    Raleigh, N.C., Regional

    1. North Carolina State
    4. Elon*

    2. UNC Wilmington*
    3. Kansas State

    Last five: William & Mary, Virginia Tech, Houston, Central Arkansas, Troy.
    Next 10: Texas A&M, Austin Peay, Delaware, Seton Hall, Ohio State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Illinois, Baylor, Texas, Campbell.
    Conference automatic bids

    America East: Maine
    Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
    Atlantic Coast: North Carolina
    Atlantic Sun: North Florida
    Big Ten: Indiana
    Big 12: Oklahoma
    Big East: Louisville
    Big South: Coastal Carolina
    Big West: Cal State Fullerton
    Colonial Athletic: UNC Wilmington
    Conference USA: Southern Mississippi
    Horizon: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Ivy League: Dartmouth
    Metro Atlantic: Rider
    Mid-American: Kent State
    Mid-Eastern Athletic: Bethune-Cookman
    Missouri Valley: Wichita State
    Mountain West: New Mexico
    Northeast: Bryant
    Ohio Valley: Belmont
    Pac-12: Oregon State
    Patriot: Holy Cross
    Southeastern: Louisiana State
    Southern: Elon
    Southland: Sam Houston State
    Southwestern Athletic: Jackson State
    Summit: South Dakota State
    Sun Belt: Florida Atlantic 
    West Coast: Gonzaga
    Western Athletic: Cal State Bakersfield