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HELPED ITS CASE
Arizona -- The Wildcats are battling Cal State Fullerton for the final NCAA Regional host spot, and solidified their case with a series-opening win over rival Arizona State. Wildcats right-handed pitcher Kurt Heyer tossed a complete-game gem in the win over the Sun Devils. Arizona entered the day with an RPI of 16, and another win this weekend likely would leave little doubt.
Georgia Tech -- Some would say the Yellow Jackets still have some work to do at the ACC tournament, but they probably solidified their spot on the good side of the NCAA bubble Friday afternoon with a dominant 17-5 win over Virginia. Tech suddenly is playing an impressive brand of baseball. Georgia Tech entered Friday’s game against Virginia with an RPI of 35.
Mississippi State -- We’ve answered this question several times throughout the weekend, that question, of course, being about the Bulldogs’ NCAA Regional hosting chances. For now, those hosting chances seem to be very small to say the least. However, State at least kept hope alive with an impressive win over LSU. State entered the day at 24 in the latest RPI. Either way, wouldn’t want to see these guys in the postseason.
Purdue -- After dropping a tough series to Iowa to end the regular season, there was at least some question about the Boilermakers’ hosting chances should had they struggled in the Big Ten tournament. Well, good thing they’ve done the opposite of that so far this weekend. The Boilermakers picked up an impressive win against Indiana to take full control of that tournament.
UCLA -- There’s little question about the Bruins earning a national seed, but perhaps a series loss to Southern California this weekend could change things. Fortunately, UCLA started that series on the right foot with a 3-1 triumph with right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko tossing a gem. The Bruins should be safe this weekend and Monday.
HURT ITS CASE
Texas A&M -- The Aggies looked fantastic in their Big 12 tournament opening game against Kansas, but things went downhill fast the past two days, dropping rough contests to Missouri and Kansas, both bad RPI teams. In other words, the Aggies went from national seed contenders to just being glad to host an NCAA Regional.
Stanford -- The Cardinal is chasing South Carolina for the last national seed this weekend. Well, the Cardinal dropped a tough 18-inning affair to rival California, and a potential series loss to the Golden Bears likely would end their national seed chances. One big thing to remember when it comes to Stanford’s national seed contender -- South Carolina -- is that Gamecocks athletic director Eric Hyman is on the NCAA Selection Committee.
East Carolina -- The Pirates aren’t exactly impressing the NCAA Selection Committee this weekend. They’ve been outscored a combined 15-4 in a pair of rough losses to Tulane and Central Florida. The final pool game of the Conference USA tournament against UAB could be a very important game for the Pirates. It would be the final impression on the committee.
New Mexico State -- The Aggies entered Friday with an RPI of 29. In other words, they seemed to be in good shape to still reach the NCAA postseason despite a tough loss to Fresno State. NMSU, though, made its situation more precarious by dropping a 15-12 decision to Louisiana Tech to go 0-2 at the WAC tournament. To make matters worse, the Aggies allowed 30 runs in two games. Not exactly a lasting impression.
Sam Houston State -- The Bearkats have put themselves on the bubble as Selection Monday nears. SHSU appeared to be in very good shape after winning the Southland Conference regular season title with a high RPI. However, after going 1-1 the first couple of days of the conference tournament, its RPI dropped to 47. The Bearkats finished the tourney by going 1-1 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas-Arlington on Friday. The committee should be kind to the Bearkats, but will they be?
NATIONAL SEEDS (as of Saturday, no order)
Others to watch: Stanford, Kentucky
Long shots: Rice, Texas A&M
REGIONAL HOSTS (as of Saturday)
North Carolina State
Others to watch:Cal State Fullerton
Long shots: Mississippi State