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College  | Story  | 5/8/2014

Projected field of 64: May 8

Kendall Rogers     


• The national seed race didn't take a drastic turn this week, but also isn't void of changes. South Carolina was a top eight national seed in last week's projections, but dropped out of the mix after losing a tough road series to Georgia last weekend. As a result, teams such as TCU, Rice, Louisville and Miami were in the mix for the final national seed. Louisville has a high RPI, coming in at 12 after another strong week, but is just 6-6 vs. RPI Top 50 teams with a schedule ranked No. 108 on the national stage. Miami was strongly in the mix as well, but the ACC, at least at this point, is unlikely to get three national seeds. That left us with Rice and TCU. Though the Owls are 2-0 against the Horned Frogs this spring, TCU still has the superior resume. For instance, Rice is 3-5 vs. RPI Top 25 clubs, while TCU carries an impressive 9-4 mark against the same competition. Against RPI Top 50 teams, the Frogs are 13-8, with the Owls standing at 11-9. The race between these two and others is close, so don't look for the national seed race to stay the same from now until Selection Monday.

• There are a couple of changes from last week in the NCAA Regional host department. Houston and Alabama were hosts in last week's projections, but dropped out for Louisville and Liberty this week. The Cardinals moved ahead of the Cougars in the hosting pecking order with a three-game lead on them in the American Athletic Conference standings. The Cards and Cougars have similar resumes from an RPI standpoint, so the race for a host will come down to a variety of factors, including UH finding a way to chip into UL's conference lead the final two weeks of the regular season. Meanwhile, with Alabama moving out as a host after getting swept by Florida at home, it opened the door for Liberty to jump into the mix. I still have reserves about Liberty's overall resume with few marquee wins and a strength of schedule well into the 100s, but the Flames have a high RPI, an outstanding facility, and as we've mentioned before, the NCAA loves to put postseason tournaments in “new and exciting” places. Liberty fits the bill, while Vanderbilt would be a good choice to send there as a No. 1 seed. The Commodores are rising and very close to moving in as a host. Vanderbilt's conference record sits at 14-10, along with a 5-3 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 14-9 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 18-13 record vs. RPI Top 100.

• If you're looking for a potential surprise host site in a few weeks, keep an eye on UC Irvine. The Anteaters have rapidly climbed the RPI the past couple of weeks, and have a chance to do even more with series against Cal Poly, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton to finish the regular season. As it stands, the Anteaters have an RPI of 29, overall record of 33-14, and are 3-6 vs. RPI Top 50 and just 13-10 vs. RPI Top 100. UCI earning a host site remains a long shot, but should the 'Eaters win their final three series and win the Big West Conference title, it absolutely remains an option … Speaking of the Big West, Long Beach State would've been in this week's projections, but given we paint the most accurate picture of how things stand right now, the Dirtbags are .500, thus would be ineligible for the NCAA postseason … Cal State Fullerton missed this week's field, and is now down to 69 in the latest RPI with just a 24-20 overall record. The Titans are 12-15 vs. RPI Top 100 teams and just 7-8 in the Big West. In other words, they're in trouble.

• We'll have much more analysis on the bubble teams, but teams just missing the postseason field this week include Dallas Baptist, San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara, Illinois State, Southern Mississippi, Southern California, Illinois, Cal State Fullerton and North Carolina State.

Bids by conference: SEC (11), ACC (8), Big 12 (6), Pac-12 (4), American Athletic (3), Mountain West (2), Big West (2), Big Ten (2), Conference USA (2), West Coast (2), Missouri Valley (2).

-- 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

The Road to Omaha: Field of 64 (May 8)

1. Virginia* (1)
4. Delaware State*

2. Alabama
3. Bryant*

1. Vanderbilt
4. Hartford*

2. Liberty*
3. West Virginia

1. Florida* (2)
4. Western Illinois*

2. UCF
3. Duke

1. Miami (Fla.)
4. Columbia*

2. Mississippi State
3. Florida International

1. Oregon State* (3)
4. Wright State*

2. UNLV*
3. Tennessee

1. Cal Poly
4. Sacramento State*

2. Pepperdine*
3. Arizona State

1. Louisiana-Lafayette* (4)
4. Southeast Missouri St.*

2. Houston
3. Kentucky

1. Louisiana State
4. St. John's*

2. UC Irvine*
3. Maryland

1. Indiana* (5)
4. Canisius*

2. Oregon
3. Indiana State

1. Washington
4. Evansville*

2. Oklahoma State
3. San Diego

1. Florida State (6)
4. Alabama State*

2. Mercer*
3. Arkansas


1. South Carolina
4. Western Carolina*

2. Georgia Tech
3. Kansas

1. Mississippi (7)
4. Ball State*

2. Clemson
3. Nebraska

1. Louisville*
4. William & Mary*

2. Texas Tech
3. North Carolina

1. Texas Christian* (8)
4. Army*

2. Texas A&M
3. New Mexico

1. Rice*
4. Saint Louis*

2. Texas
3. Sam Houston State*



Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
American Athletic: Louisville
Atlantic Coast: Virginia
America East: Hartford
Atlantic Sun: Mercer
Big Ten: Indiana
Big 12: TCU
Big East: St. John's
Big South: Liberty
Big West: UC Irvine
Colonial Athletic: William & Mary
Conference USA: Rice
Horizon: Wright State
Ivy League: Columbia
Metro Atlantic: Canisius
Mid-American: Ball State
Mid-Eastern Athletic: Delaware State
Missouri Valley: Evansville
Mountain West: UNLV
Northeast: Bryant
Ohio Valley: Southeast Missouri
Pac-12: Oregon State
Patriot: Army
Southeastern: Florida
Southern: Western Carolina
Southland: Sam Houston State
Southwestern Athletic: Alabama State
Summit: Western Illinois
Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette
West Coast: Pepperdine
Western Athletic: Sacramento State