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College  | Story  | 4/30/2013

Postseason snapshot: April 30

Kendall Rogers     

Selection Monday isn't far away, meaning teams only have a few more weeks to make their final impressions on the NCAA Selection Committee.

With that said, as we get closer to the end of the regular season, it's imperative to stay on top of the postseason picture as much as possible. That's why each week leading up to Selection Monday, we'll take an inside look at which teams helped and hurt their respective postseason causes during the past week.

Without further ado, here's both the good and bad in the postseason resume department.

Helped its case

Troy: I already thought the Trojans were in good shape entering last weekend's series against Florida Atlantic, but taking that series from the Owls only reinforces the idea that coach Bobby Pierce's club is in good shape to make the NCAA postseason. In addition to being second place in the Sun Belt, the Trojans have an RPI of 33 with a solid overall resume. They're 2-4 vs. RPI Top 25, 4-5 vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-8 vs. RPI Top 100, which is a decent resume for an at-large club.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish absolutely aren't out of the woods just yet when it comes to their postseason at-large berth, but they at least took a step forward last weekend with a series sweep over Connecticut. With the series win, the Fighting Irish are up to sixth in the Big East with a 7-8 record, and obviously need to improve that mark to be safe. Resume-wise, the Fighting Irish are up to 26 with a 27-16 overall record, along with a 1-5 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 8-10 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 10-11 record vs. RPI Top 100. Though the Irish are a top-25 caliber club when they're playing their best, their postseason situation remains fluid.

Pittsburgh: It would be difficult to leave the Panthers out of the mix if the season ended today. Pitt has won its last six contests, and we all know how much the NCAA Selection Committee typically loves red-hot teams. With that, the Panthers are p to 47 in the RPI with a 32-10 overall record, along with a solid second-place standing in the Big East with a 12-3 conference mark. Resume-wise, the Panthers are 3-0 vs. RPI Top 50 and 6-5 vs. RPI Top 100. In other words, the Panthers haven't played an extremely difficult overall schedule, but they're winning the games they're supposed to. At this point, I think it's something the NCAA Selection Committee would approve.

Seton Hall: Very much like the Big Ten Conference, the Big East has a very fluid situation from a postseason berth standpoint. The Pirates are having a solid campaign, and only helped their cause over the weekend by sweeping a three-game set against Villanova. With the series sweep, the Pirates are now 10-5 in the league (fourth), and three games out of first place behind South Florida. Resume-wise, SHU is up to 46, along with an 0-2 record vs. RPI Top 25, 1-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 8-10 mark vs. RPI Top 100. I'm inclined to go with Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, along with Louisville out of the Big Ten for now, but things definitely could change.

South Carolina: Chad Holbrook's Gamecocks have had quite an interesting season, exchanging sweep after sweep in SEC play. However, with barely an NCAA Regional host in our latest projections (last week), the Gamecocks took it upon themselves to essentially reinforce that position with a road series win over LSU. The Gamecocks are now 13-8 in the SEC with an RPI of 8. Additionally, the Gamecocks are 4-5 vs. RPI Top 25, 7-5 vs. RPI Top 50 and 19-9 vs. RPI Top 100. I don't think the Gamecocks are a national seed at this point, but a series win over Vanderbilt this weekend could be the ticket to the top eight.

New Mexico: It was only a matter of time, but the Lobos are playing an outstanding brand of baseball at exactly the right time. The Lobos are in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and appear to have the Mountain West on lockdown with a five-game lead over second-place San Diego State after sweeping UNLV over the weekend. The Lobos are up to 41 in the latest RPI with an 0-4 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-10 mark vs. RPI Top 100. Though UNM might leave something to be desired on the mound at times, this isn't a team you'd want to face offensively in the postseason, one prominent head coach reiterated to me this week.

North Florida: Speaking of making conference postseason at-large berth races interesting, the Ospreys are certainly doing that in the Atlantic Sun with Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast also vying for sports in the field of 64. Mercer is a safe bet to be included in the field with a top-20 RPI, while FGCU's stock has dropped since being red-hot earlier this season. That leaves the Ospreys, who lead the league with a 14-4 record and 32-12 overall mark. UNF has a much improved RPI of 44 with a 4-4 mark vs. RPI Top 25 and 10-7 vs. RPI Top 100.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies were sliding in the postseason pecking order just a week ago, but rejuvenated their chances over the weekend with a huge home series win over in-state rival University of Virginia. With the series win, the Hokies improved to 11-13 in the ACC, along with a 27-18 overall mark. The Hokies are in great shape RPI-wise with an RPI of 13 with an 8-12 mark vs. RPI Top 25 teams, 10-14 vs. RPI Top 50 and 17-16 vs. RPI Top 100. Seventeen wins against RPI Top 100 teams is an impressive figure to say the least.

Baylor: The Bears still aren't in great shape to reach the NCAA postseason, but they certainly helped their case over the weekend with a series sweep over Texas, improving to 11-6 in the Big 12, and just a half-game behind Oklahoma in second place. The Bears only have a 24-20 overall record, but their RPI continues to improve with an RPI of 54. BU 1-2 vs. RPI Top 25, 6-7 vs. RPI Top 50 and 14-16 vs. RPI Top 100.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide hosted Texas A&M in a huge RPI series last weekend at home, and took care of business, 2-0, in a rain-shortened series. With the solid weekend against the Aggies, the Tide improved to 11-9 in the SEC and 27-18 overall. Furthermore, the Crimson Tide now has an RPI of 31 with a 1-8 mark vs. RPI Top 25 teams, 8-13 vs. RPI Top 50 and 14-15 vs. RPI Top 100. Obviously not a tremendous resume, but the Tide would easily be in as of today based on conference record and RPI.

Hurt its case

Houston: The Cougars entered the season with one of the nation's youngest teams, yet, still found a way to get off to a hot start. Unfortunately, though, the Cougars have been ice cold the past few weeks and are 3-7 in their last six games, as well as losers of six-straight contests, falling to sixth in the Conference USA standings. UH is all the way down to 77 in the latest RPI, along with a 2-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-7 vs. RPI top 100. Not a horrible overall resume, but that RPI combined with conference standing wouldn't get it done if the season ended today.

Miami (Fla.): Historically speaking, the Hurricanes typically have gotten the benefit of the doubt from a hosting standpoint. Well, the Hurricanes took a big step back last weekend, dropping a horrible road series to Boston College. With that series loss, the 'Canes are down to 11-13 in the ACC with a 27-18 overall record. The Hurricanes still have a solid RPI of 18, but are 8-10 vs. RPI Top 25, 12-12 vs. RPI Top 50 and 18-16 vs. RPI Top 100. Again, a very similar resume to Virginia Tech, so the 'Canes would be in the NCAA postseason field if the season ended today. However, a host spot is out of the equation for now.

Auburn: With a rather decent RPI entering last weekend's series against Missouri, the Tigers had a chance to get into the at-large mix with a road series win over Missouri. However, they dropped the series and are now 7-14 in the SEC and would only make the conference tournament as the final team in the field. The Tigers have an RPI of 58 with a 3-11 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams. AU must finish on an incredibly hot note to have a chance at making the NCAA postseason field.

Cal Poly: I'm still strongly inclined to think the Mustangs are in good shape from a postseason standpoint, but things aren't as crystal clear as they were just a week ago after the Mustangs dropped a tough road series to Long Beach State. Cal Poly dropped to fifth in the Big West with a 8-7 league mark following the series loss, sitting at 28-13 overall. With that said, the Mustangs have some bright spots, such as their RPI at 35, along with a respectable 4-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 12-11 mark vs. RPI Top 100. Cal Poly, in my opinion, would be in as of today, but things could change with a slow finish.

San Diego: The Toreros are still in good shape to make the NCAA postseason at this point, but they're making things hard after dropping a home series to San Francisco, dropping to 10-8 in the West Coast Conference, fourth place to be exact. With that said, the Toreros have played an incredibly difficult schedule this season and still have a 26-18 overall record. USD needs to finish strong to improve its RPI, which has dropped to an unimpressive 49. The Toreros are 4-1 vs. RPI Top 25, 6-1 vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-15 vs. RPI Top 100.

Stanford: The Cardinal has had quite a fall from grace this spring. Stanford entered the season with incredibly high expectations, but now is in trouble heading down the stretch after getting swept by Oregon last weekend. With the series loss, the Cardinal is tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with a 9-9 (.500) record, but also only has an RPI of 98. Stanford is 0-3 vs. RPI Top 25, 3-6 vs. RPI Top 50 and 6-9 vs. RPI Top 100. In other words, not exactly an impressive resume. Amazing to think that with right-handed pitcher Mark Appel leading the charge on the weekend, the Cardinal still could miss the NCAA postseason.

Nebraska: The Huskers have a very curious case heading down the stretch. The Big Red is tied with Indiana atop the Big Ten standings, but is coming off a rough weekend at the TD Ameritrade Classic, where they went 1-3 with losses to Creighton and Oklahoma State (2). Nebraska has an RPI of 38 on the season, but also wouldn't be eligible for a postseason at-large berth as of today with a 20-23 overall record. Nebraska is 5-10 vs. RPI Top 50 and 9-19 vs. RPI Top 100. In other words, the Huskers have plenty of work to do the final month.

Mississippi: The Rebels and other Southeastern Conference clubs hope to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA postseason come June. Well, the Rebels will have to go above and beyond to accomplish that goal after dropping a home series to Kentucky last weekend. With the series loss, Ole Miss is now 11-10 in the SEC and 31-14 overall. Resume-wise, the Rebels have an RPI of 20 along with a 1-6 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 5-8 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-12 record vs. RPI Top 100 clubs.

Loyola Marymount: The Lions have played an incredibly difficult schedule this season, and were making a push toward being an at-large postseason team two weekends ago with a series win over San Francisco. However, they took a huge step back last weekend, perhaps a critical one, with an 0-3 weekend on the road against Portland, which has an RPI of 180. LMU is down to 67 in the latest RPI with a 5-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-13 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs. LMU finishes the spring with series against BYU and Santa Clara, both series it should win at home … but will the RPI be positively affected?