College : : Story
Thursday, April 25, 2013

College Field of 64: April 25

Kendall Rogers        

  • Florida State was in good shape for a national seed just a week ago, but that was before it went on the road and got swept by Virginia. By virtue of that result combined with North Carolina State's 15-game winning streak, the two teams swapped places as national seeds this week. FSU still has a solid RPI of seven, along with a 8-8 mark vs. RPI Top 25 teams, 10-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 17-9 vs. RPI Top 100. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack, who currently have the third-best record in the ACC, have an RPI of eight with an 8-5 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 15-7 vs. RPI Top 50 and 19-8 vs. RPI Top 100. N.C. State has a huge series at home against North Carolina this weekend, and actually will face Florida State at home in a couple of weeks.

  • Much like the national seed situation, there was only one change when it comes to postseason host sites. Georgia Tech narrowly earned a host site in last week's field, but moved out after getting swept at home by N.C. State. UCLA, which hit the road and took a series from Oregon, moved in as one of the 16 host sites. The Bruins are up to 19 in the latest RPI and their resume continues to improve. The Bruins are 4-6 vs. RPI Top 25, 4-7 vs. RPI Top 50 and 16-11 vs. RPI Top 100. That probably doesn't seem too impressive, but also factor into the equation the Bruins are tied for third in the Pac-12 with a 9-6 record. Ole Miss and Clemson were next in line for host sites. The Rebels have swept their last two SEC series and have an RPI of 18. Furthermore, they need to improve a 1-6 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 7-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 18-12 vs. RPI Top 100. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the Hurricanes, who if you remember, hosted last season despite a rather weak overall resume. Miami still needs to improve its conference record down the stretch, but has an RPI of 11 along with an 8-10 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 11-12 vs. RPI Top 50 and 16-15 vs. RPI Top 100. Arkansas has a rather respectable resume from an RPI nitty gritty standpoint, but an RPI of 61 is keeping it from being a serious candidate at this point. The good news for Arkansas is it has plenty of chances to improve the RPI down the stretch.

  • It has been one heck of a year for the Big Ten so far this season, ranked ahead of both the Big West and Conference USA in terms of RPI. That should lead to more teams in the NCAA postseason come Selection Monday. For now, it's a safe bet Michigan State and Indiana make the field of 64, with Ohio State in this week. It's very well-documented what Indiana has accomplished this spring, but the Spartans also have a good resume. For instance, MSU has an RPI of 24 with a 4-2 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 7-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 8-7 mark vs. RPI Top 100. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes have an RPI of 40, but are far from being in terrific shape. The Buckeyes have a 6-7 record vs. RPI Top 50, with no RPI Top 25 opponents yet, and also are just 7-9 vs. RPI Top 100. Should Minnesota, which is a very good club, improve its RPI, or Nebraska, which leads the Big Ten but is a game below .500 overall, finish strong, one of the two likely will make the postseason. The Huskers to a huge boost last week with a midweek sweep over Arkansas. The Huskers have an RPI of 42, but really need to finish strong with just an 8-16 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs. Last but not least, also keep an eye on Illinois. The Fighting Illini are seventh in the Big Ten, and that is a huge strike against them right now. But they've also got a 24-12 overall record, RPI of 48, and have some very nice wins, including a road series sweep over Baylor.

  • How about the curious cases of Arkansas and Rice? Both of these clubs have notched some nice wins this season. Yet, they're not in the hosting mix right now because of one chief reason -- RPI. Yeah, that mean old RPI that everyone talks about is actually hurting a pair of power programs this spring. There's no doubt the Hogs have elite potential, as evidenced by their high ranking in the latest PG College Top 25. However, some bad midweek losses, including a weekend loss to Pacific, have caught up with them, perhaps putting them in such a hole it could be impossible to climb out of down the stretch. With that said, let's delve into the two resumes. Arkansas has an RPI of 61, but actually otherwise has a solid resume. For instance, the Hogs are 7-7 vs. RPI Top 25, 11-9 vs. RPI Top 50 and 16-13 vs. RPI Top 100. As for the Owls, they currently sit second in Conference USA with a 9-6 record. They also have an RPI of 43, along with an 0-2 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-10 record vs. RPI Top 100. The NCAA committee will have a tough time dealing with these two teams. On one hand, the RPI must be held against them, but just how much? We'll find out sooner rather than later. Stanford is another team in the same boat as the Razorbacks and Owls.

  • The Big 12's postseason situation continues to change as the season progresses, as teams have been recycled the past few weeks. Oklahoma is the slam-dunk team, for now, to be in the NCAA postseason, but what about the rest? TCU and Texas are all but out of the mix completely, sitting near the bottom of the conference standings with only a few weeks left to the regular season. Meanwhile, Baylor is third with an 8-6 league record, but has an unimpressive RPI of 75 and a 6-7 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams. Oklahoma State is another interesting club. The Cowboys have a good overall record of 27-11, but played a weak non-conference schedule and have an RPI of 67. The Pokes, though, could move into the mix if they finish the conference schedule in strong fashion. That leaves the Big 12 with Kansas and Kansas State as the two at-large teams for the postseason. Who saw that coming this season? The Wildcats have an RPI of 28, a 29-13 overall record and are 5-3 vs. RPI Top 50, while Kansas is a surprise. The Jayhawks really have taken a step forward this spring, sitting at 22-15 overall, second in the league, and possessing a respectable RPI of 50. Nothing is set in stone in this very fluid league, but three bids appears to be the max, barring a huge surprise.

  • -- 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 (April 25)
    Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional

    1. North Carolina* (1)
    4. Maine*

    2. Coastal Carolina*
    3. Pittsburgh^

    Louisville, Ky. Regional

    1. Louisville*
    4. Belmont*

    2. Michigan State^
    3. Kentucky^

    Baton Rouge, La., Regional

    1. LSU* (2)
    4. Jackson State*

    2. South Alabama*
    3. Southern Mississippi*

    Tempe, Ariz., Regional

    1. Arizona State^
    4. Bryant*

    2. Rice^
    3. New Mexico*

    Charlottesville, Va., Regional

    1. Virginia^ (3)
    4. Holy Cross*

    2. Florida^
    3. Ohio State^

    Starkville, Miss., Regional

    1. Mississippi State^
    4. Saint Louis*

    2. Georgia Tech^
    3. Troy^

    Nashville, Tenn., Regional

    1. Vanderbilt^ (4)
    4. Rider*

    2. Clemson^
    3. Austin Peay^

    Tallahassee, Fla., Regional

    1. Florida State^
    4. Bethune-Cookman*

    2. Mercer^
    3. Alabama^

    Fullerton, Calif., Regional

    1. Cal State Fullerton* (5)
    4. Wisconsin-Milwaukee*

    2. San Diego^
    3. Arizona^

    Los Angeles

    1. UCLA^
    4. Cal State Bakersfield*

    2. Miami (Fla.)^
    3. UC Irvine^

    Corvallis, Ore., Regional

    1. Oregon State* (6)
    4. South Dakota State*

    2. Cal Poly^
    3. Kansas State^

    Norman, Okla., Regional

    1. Oklahoma*
    4. Sam Houston State*

    2. Arkansas^
    3. Missouri State*

    Raleigh, N.C., Regional

    1. North Carolina State^ (7)
    4. Western Carolina*

    2. UNC Wilmington*
    3. Kansas^

    Columbia, S.C. Regional

    1. South Carolina^
    4. North Florida*

    2. Florida Atlantic^
    3. Virginia Tech^

    Eugene, Ore., Regional

    1. Oregon^ (8)
    4. Dartmouth*

    2. Mississippi^
    3. Gonzaga*

    Bloomington, Ind., Regional

    1. Indiana*
    4. Buffalo*

    2. Stanford^
    3. Notre Dame^

    Last five: Austin Peay, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Arizona
    Next 10: Louisiana-Lafayette, William & Mary, Central Arkansas, Campbell, Loyola Marymount, Seton Hall, Illinois, Florida Gulf Coast, Houston, Oklahoma State
    Conference automatic bids

    America East: Maine
    Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
    Atlantic Coast: North Carolina
    Atlantic Sun: North Florida
    Big Ten: Indiana
    Big 12: Oklahoma
    Big East: Louisville
    Big South: Coastal Carolina
    Big West: Cal State Fullerton
    Colonial Athletic: UNC Wilmington
    Conference USA: Southern Mississippi
    Horizon: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Ivy League: Dartmouth
    Metro Atlantic: Rider
    Mid-American: Buffalo
    Mid-Eastern Athletic: Bethune-Cookman
    Missouri Valley: Missouri State
    Mountain West: New Mexico
    Northeast: Bryant
    Ohio Valley: Belmont
    Pac-12: Oregon State
    Patriot: Holy Cross
    Southeastern: Louisiana State
    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

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