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College  | Story  | 5/9/2013

College Field of 64: May 9

Kendall Rogers     

  • It has been a fun season in the Sun Belt to say the least. The league has returned to its rightful spot as one of the premier mid-major leagues, and has a legitimate chance to get four teams in the NCAA postseason. For now, South Alabama and Troy are the slam-dunk picks, with Louisiana-Lafayette on the good side of the bubble, and Florida Atlantic just on the outside looking in at this point. The Owls dropped a tough home series to Arkansas-Little Rock last weekend, dropping from 38 to 57 in the latest RPI as a result. Overall, the Owls are 4-4 vs. RPI Top 25, 7-11 vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-12 vs. RPI Top 100. Winning a series against FIU, which has an RPI of 145, this weekend won't do a lot for FAU's resume, but there are plenty of opportunities for big wins in the conference tournament.

  • Just a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like the Big 12 might only get a couple of teams in the NCAA postseason. However, a couple of big series wins later, and some teams have moved up in the pecking order. One of those team is West Virginia. The Mountaineers, who haven't reached the NCAA postseason since 1996, captured a huge series win over Oklahoma last weekend, vaulting from 71 to 68 in the latest RPI. The Mountaineers actually have a rather strong resume for an at-large team with a 16-15 record vs. RPI Top 100 clubs in addition to being in a three-way tie with Oklahoma and Kansas State atop the conference standings. To illustrate just how close this at-large race is, Oklahoma State, which is sixth in the league standings, but just 1 1/2 games out of first place, is in this week's field of 64. The Pokes are playing a good brand of baseball these days and has an RPI of 46, up from 51 last week. The Pokes are 2-1 vs. RPI Top 25, 4-2 vs. RPI Top 50 and 14-10 vs. RPI Top 100. not a phenomenal resume, but certainly one worth an at-large bid at this point.

  • In one of the many surprises when it comes to the 2013 postseason picture, Conference USA continues to look like a two-bid league heading down the stretch, potentially even a one-bid league. Southern Mississippi continues to lead the conference standings by 1 1/2 games, and it's hard to imagine the C-USA regular season champion doesn't make the NCAA tournament field. With that said, with an RPI in the 80s, it's easy to say the Golden Eagles have quite a bit of work to do to be completely safe. Houston is the one team besides USM and Rice who could get back in the postseason mix. The Cougars have really sputtered the past few weeks, sitting sixth in C-USA, though, only 3 1/2 games out of first place. UH has an RPI of 54, up from 77 last week, with a 4-3 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams and 16-12 mark vs. RPI Top 100 teams.

  • The Big East has made some significant strides this spring, and it's looking rather good for three or four postseason bids at this point. Louisville, South Florida and Pittsburgh are pretty much slam-dunk bets at this point barring surprising collapses. Pitt and USF lead the Big East standings with impressive 15-3 league records. Both also have RPIs in the 40s. Meanwhile, Louisville is in good shape to earn an NCAA Regional host site with an RPI of 21 along with a 7-4 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 12-5 record vs. RPI Top 100. Seton Hall also is in the good side of the bubble this week, while Notre Dame is a team to watch the final few weeks of the regular season. The Fighting Irish have a rough conference record at 8-10, but played a tough non-conference schedule, and as a result, still have an RPI of 31 with a league-best nine wins vs. RPI Top 50 clubs.

  • Let's just throw out the idea the Atlantic Coast Conference will get four of the eight national seeds. North Carolina and Virginia seem like very safe bets at this point, leaving North Carolina State and Florida State as competitors for the final national seed from the conference. N.C. State has the edge right now, but the two teams will meet for a three-game set before the regular season ends, likely determining that final spot. FSU barely missed the cut, but still has a very impressive resume. FSU has an RPI of 5 with a 10-9 mark vs. RPI Top 25 clubs, 12-9 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 23-9 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs. That series between the Wolfpack and Seminoles ought to be a dandy.

  • Though the 16 NCAA host sites look good for now in the latest projections, keep a very close eye on Clemson and South Alabama moving forward. Clemson has an RPI of 14, a good ACC record and an overall good resume. The Tigers are 10-11 vs. RPI Top 25, 13-11 vs. RPI Top 50 and 19-13 vs. RPI Top 100. Meanwhile, South Alabama has representation on the NCAA Selection Committee and has been extremely consistent this spring. The Jaguars are 0-2 vs. RPI Top 25, 6-8 vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-12 vs. RPI Top 100. Clemson obviously has the better resume at this point, but USA could get a host site in an effort to reward the Sun Belt for an impressive campaign.

    -- 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.
    * Denotes automatic bid
    ^ Denotes at-large bid

    College Baseball Field of 64 (May 9)
    Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional
    1. North Carolina* (1)
    4. Maine*

    2. UNC Wilmington*
    3. Seton Hall^
    Bloomington, Ind., Regional
    1. Indiana*
    4. Milwaukee*

    2. Kansas State*
    3. Kentucky^
    Nashville, Tenn., Regional
    1. Vanderbilt* (2)
    4. Tennessee Tech*

    2. Troy^
    3. Michigan State^
    Tallahassee, Fla., Regional
    1. Florida State^
    4. Bethune-Cookman*

    2. South Alabama*
    3. North Florida*
    Corvallis, Ore., Regional
    1. Oregon State* (3)
    4. South Dakota State*

    2. Virginia Tech^
    3. Gonzaga*
    Louisville, Ky., Regional
    1. Louisville^
    4. Saint Louis*

    2. Mississippi^
    3. Ohio State^
    Baton Rouge, La., Regional
    1. Louisiana State^ (4)
    4. Jackson State*

    2. Louisiana-Lafayette^
    3. Oklahoma State^
    Tempe, Ariz., Regional
    1. Arizona State^
    4. Rider*

    2. Rice^
    3. San Diego^
    Fullerton, Calif., Regional
    1. Cal State Fullerton* (5)
    4. Holy Cross*

    2. New Mexico*
    3. Stanford^
    Los Angeles
    1. UCLA^
    4. CSU Bakersfield*

    2. Georgia Tech^
    3. Cal Poly^
    Charlottesville, Va., Regional
    1. Virginia^ (6)
    4. Columbia*

    2. Florida^
    3. West Virginia^
    Starkville, Miss., Regional
    1. Mississippi State^
    4. Sam Houston State*

    2. Clemson^
    3. Southern Mississippi*
    Raleigh, N.C., Regional
    1. North Carolina State^ (7)
    4. Bryant*

    2. Alabama^
    3. Coastal Carolina*
    Columbia, S.C. Regional
    1. South Carolina^
    4. Western Carolina*

    2. Mercer^
    3. South Florida*
    Eugene, Ore., Regional
    1. Oregon^ (8)
    4. Buffalo*

    2. Oklahoma^
    3. Pittsburgh^
    Fayetteville, Ark., Regional
    1. Arkansas^
    4. Wichita State*

    2. Miami (Fla.)^
    3. Kansas^
    Last five: San Diego, West Virginia, Stanford, Kansas, Seton Hall.
    Next 10: Campbell, Maryland, Notre Dame, Austin Peay, William & Mary, Florida Atlantic, San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Baylor.
    Conference automatic bids

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