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College  | Story  | 5/20/2013

College Field of 64: May 20

Kendall Rogers     

* Oregon dropped a tough series to rival Oregon State over the weekend and dropped out of a national seed in the latest projections. The Ducks, with the series loss, still have a chance to be a top eight national seed, but just need to finish the regular season in flawless fashion. The Ducks are now 5-4 vs. RPI Top 25, 9-4 vs. RPI Top 50 and 21-10 vs. RPI Top 100. This week, we give the final national seed nod to Louisville, who's up to 13 in the latest RPI with a 1-3 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 8-4 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 20-8 vs. RPI Top 100. I'd also keep an eye on Indiana, which has a high RPI and respectable overall resume, while the NCAA could always throw a curveball at us and give North Carolina State a fourth ACC national seed. The Wolfpack actually has a very good resume entering this weekend. For instance, the Wolfpack is 11-8 vs. RPI Top 25, 16-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 24-12 overall record. Meanwhile, it's my opinion the other seven national seeds are set unless someone stumbles in ugly fashion this week.

* I feel very good about the 16 NCAA host sites as we enter conference tournament week for most leagues around the country. Mississippi State is our last host in this week's projections, and the Bulldogs have a rather solid resume. Despite playing an incredibly difficult Southeastern Conference schedule, the Bulldogs have a nice record and resume. The Bulldogs are 6-8 vs. RPI Top 25, 19-14 vs. RPI Top 50 and 21-16 vs. RPI Top 100. I'd also continue to keep a close eye on South Alabama if it gets hot in the Sun Belt tournament. The Jaguars still have a high RPI, but the resume needs some work. USA is 2-3 vs. RPI Top 25, 5-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 14-14 vs. RPI Top 100. I'd also keep an eye on Arkansas as the week progresses. The Razorbacks still have an RPI in the 40s entering the SEC tournament, but the overall resume is very respectable. Arkansas is 7-7 vs. RPI Top 25, 15-15 vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-16 vs. RPI Top 100. The Hogs clearly have a lot of work to do, but the SEC tourney could be a major resume booster.

* Another intriguing situation in the postseason picture right now is just exactly how many bids the Big East will get into the NCAA tournament. We were feeling good about Pittsburgh going into last weekend's series against Louisville. However, the Panthers tumbled in the RPI and pecking order after failing to win a single game against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, South Florida, which has been fighting an uphill RPI battle the entire season, hasn't been great the past few weeks. Both teams have a chance to get on the good side of the bubble at the Big East tournament, Pitt having the better shot at this point. The Panthers have eclipsed that always-important 40-win mark and finished tied with Seton Hall, who's clearly in the field at this point, in the Big East standings. The strikes against the Panthers are their resume from an RPI standpoint. Pitt, which has an RPI of 64, is just 3-3 vs. RPI Top 50 and 6-9 vs. RPI Top 100. It's easy to see why the NCAA Selection Committee would dislike that resume, but personally speaking, I think Pitt's in-conference resume speaks for itself. I'd have the Panthers in if I were on the committee going into the conference tournament. Meanwhile, there's a reason USF is fighting more of an uphill battle than Pitt. For instance, the Bulls are 2-10 vs. RPI Top 50 teams and 9-13 vs. RPI Top 100 teams, along with an RPI of 63. The Bulls also finished behind Pitt in the conference standings.

* Two more things to keep an eye on this week include the new West Coast Conference tournament, which includes Gonzaga, San Diego, San Francisco and BYU. The Zags probably need to win the conference tournament to make the NCAA Field of 64, though, there's always a chance at an at-large by virtue of winning the WCC regular season crown. However, with USD safely in the field as of now, the interesting story line is following what BYU and San Francisco do. For now, we have the Cougars, who have the head-to-head series win over the Dons, leading the charge. However, USF is right on their heels and could change the game this week. Breaking down the two resumes, BYU has an RPI of 62 with a 3-2 record vs. RPI Top 50 teams and 12-15 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs. Meanwhile, San Francisco has an RPI of 55 with a 1-4 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 12-16 mark vs. RPI Top 100. Again, USF might slightly have an edge RPI-wise, but head-to-head, for now, is the difference … The other thing to watch with intrigue this week is the Big Ten tournament as it relates to Ohio State and Illinois. Illinois joined the field of 64 this week, but a bad showing in Minneapolis could be the difference between in and out. The Fighting Illini have some really nice wins this season, including a road series sweep of a solid Baylor club earlier in the year. Illinois has an RPI of 30 with a 3-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 9-11 mark vs. RPI Top 100. By comparison, even though Ohio State finished out of winning the Big Ten regular season crown, the postseason resume isn't all that special. For instance, the Buckeyes have an RPI of 49 with a 10-15 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams and 11-15 mark vs. RPI Top 100. For now, I think both clubs are in the field if the season ended today, but will that be the case later this week? Stay tuned.

* Fans are always intrigued to see how individual conference breakdown from a postseason bids standpoint. Here's the breakdown by conference, in order from most to least: SEC (9), ACC (8), Pac 12 (4), Sun Belt (4), Big 12 (3), WCC (3), Big Ten (3), Big West (3), Big East (2), Big South (2), Ohio Valley (2), Colonial Athletic (2), Conference USA (2), America East (1), Atlantic 10 (1), Atlantic Sun (1), Horizon (1), Ivy League (1), Metro Atlantic (1), Mid-Eastern Athletic (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1), Northeast (1), Patriot (1), Southern (1), Southland (1), SWAC (1), Summit (1), WAC (1).

* Out of the current one-bid leagues, the Atlantic Sun and Missouri Valley potentially have the most to gain this week during conference tournaments. Illinois State won the MVC automatic bid, and though the Redbirds could miss the postseason all together if they won't win the MVC tournament, for now, we're putting ISU on the good side of the bubble for capturing that regular season crown. That leaves the door open for Creighton to step in as one of the 64 teams with a very strong showing this week. The Bluejays, admittedly, have some serious work to do. Creighton has an RPI of 44 with a 30-16 overall record. However, the Jays are just 1-4 vs. RPI Top 50 and 6-8 vs. RPI Top 100. That must improve … As for the A-Sun, North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast are very much still in the postseason picture, though again, both have some work to do this week to put themselves on the good side of the postseason bubble. UNF has struggled a bit the past couple of weeks, but still has an RPI of 54 with an impressive 38-17 overall record. The Ospreys are 4-4 vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-9 vs. RPI Top 100. Again, not a bad resume. Then there's FGCU. FGCU went through a skid in the middle of the season, but certainly showed at times this season it's a club that could win an NCAA Regional when clicking on all cylinders -- just ask Florida. With that said, FGCU, which has an RPI of 61 with a 37-18 overall record, has some work to do. The Eagles are 3-8 vs. RPI Top 50 and 6-12 vs. RPI Top 100. In other words, FGCU still must not only pass UNF in the pecking order, but also other teams on the national stage. Not exactly an easy chore to say the least.

* Many questions posed in this week's college baseball chat were in regard to the postseason bid situation for the Pac 12 Conference. Right now, I have four teams from the league in the postseason, including Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State, three of which are expected to earn host sites barring a huge surprise. Will the Pac-12 get a fifth bid to the postseason? It's looking unlikely at this point unless Stanford or Arizona take care of business this weekend, and the committee feels rather generous. Stanford is currently fifth in the Pac-12 with a .500 record with an RPI of 89. The Cardinal is 3-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 8-14 vs. RPI Top 100. By comparison, Arizona has an RPI of 76 following a huge rivalry series win over Arizona State. However, the Wildcats are 2-11 vs. RPI Top 50 teams and 7-16 vs. RPI Top 100. Should either of those teams get into the field as of today? Not if you're asking me. The resumes don't warrant it.

-- 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 20)
Nashville, Tenn., Regional
1. Vanderbilt* (1)
4. Columbia*

2. Troy*
3. Ohio State^
Bloomington, Ind., Regional
1. Indiana*
4. Kent State*

2. Virginia Tech^
3. Alabama^
Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional
1. North Carolina* (2)
4. Maine*

2. UNC Wilmington*
3. Florida Atlantic^
Starkville, Miss., Regional
1. Mississippi State^
4. Army*

2. South Alabama^
3. Austin Peay^
Baton Rouge, La., Regional
1. Louisiana State^ (3)
4. Jackson State*

2. Rice*
3. Louisiana-Lafayette^
Clemson, S.C., Regional
1. Clemson^
4. Western Carolina*

2. Ole Miss^
3. Coastal Carolina^
Corvallis, Ore., Regional
1. Oregon State* (4)
4. South Dakota State*

2. Cal Poly^
3. Auburn^
Manhattan, Kan., Regional
1. Kansas State*
4. Illinois State*

2. Arkansas^
3. Sam Houston State*
Charlottesville, Va., Regional
1. Virginia^ (5)
4. Rider*

2. Arizona State^
3. William & Mary^
Eugene, Ore., Regional
1. Oregon^
4. Gonzaga*

2. Oklahoma^
3. BYU^
Fullerton, Calif., Regional
1. Cal State Fullerton* (6)
4. Milwaukee*

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

2. San Diego^
3. UC Santa Barbara^
Tallahassee, Fla., Regional
1. Florida State^ (7)
4. Savannah State*

2. Mercer*
3. Florida^
Columbia, S.C. Regional
1. South Carolina^
4. Bryant*

2. Georgia Tech^
3. Campbell*
Louisville, Ky., Regional
1. Louisville* (8)
4. Saint Louis*

2. Miami^
3. Illinois^
Raleigh, N.C., Regional

1. North Carolina State^
4. Tennessee Tech*

2. Oklahoma State^
3. Seton Hall^
Last five: William & Mary, BYU, Houston, Ohio State, UC Santa Barbara.
Next 10: Pittsburgh, San Francisco, UC Irvine, Michigan State, Creighton, Texas A&M, North Florida, FGCU, South Florida, Kansas.
Conference automatic bids

America East: Maine
Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
Atlantic Coast: North Carolina
Atlantic Sun: Mercer
Big Ten: Indiana
Big 12: Kansas State
Big East: Louisville
Big South: Campbell
Big West: Cal State Fullerton
Colonial Athletic: UNC Wilmington
Conference USA: Rice
Horizon: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ivy League: Columbia
Metro Atlantic: Rider
Mid-American: Kent State
Mid-Eastern Athletic: Savannah State
Missouri Valley: Illinois State
Mountain West: New Mexico
Northeast: Bryant
Ohio Valley: Tennessee Tech
Pac-12: Oregon State
Patriot: Army
Southeastern: Vanderbilt
Southern: Western Carolina
Southland: Sam Houston State
Southwestern Athletic: Jackson State
Summit: South Dakota State
Sun Belt: Troy
West Coast: Gonzaga
Western Athletic: CSU Bakersfield