Field Of 64 Projection: April 26Postseason
We’re heading down the final stretch of the regular season, and with that comes postseason projections each week leading up to Selection Monday. While last week’s Field of 64 had some pleasant surprises, the very latest field includes some notable changes, both in way of national seeds and hosts and bubble teams.
Like last week, we won’t dive into all the numbers and metrics in this portion of our projections. Instead, our Aaron Fitt will have an in-depth Postseason Stock Report, which will dissect the cases for national seeds, hosts and more.
So, what are the major changes this week?
There’s one change to report from a national seed perspective, and that deals with Arizona falling out of the mix. The Wildcats had a rough week that included getting swept at home by Utah. With that, the Wildcats are down to 7 in the RPI with some poor metrics: 5-4 vs. RPI Top 25, 8-10 vs. RPI Top 10 and just 10-11 vs. RPI Top 100. Jay Johnson’s club certainly has time to make up ground there, but they have work to do. Meanwhile, red-hot Kentucky entered the mix as a national seed this week. UK is up to 4 in the RPI with a 12-9 mark vs. RPI Top 50, while also having strong strength of schedule numbers, sitting at 4 overall and 33 non-conference.
In terms of hosts, LSU and Cal State Fullerton dropped out this week. The Tigers are coming off a tough series loss to Kentucky and are down to 17 in the RPI, while the Titans have been punched below the gut from an RPI standpoint over the last couple of weeks, plummeting to 33. The beneficiaries are Virginia and Auburn. The Cavaliers still lack a marquee series win, but the RPI likes them and the remaining schedule is very favorable, while the Tigers, though sitting at 27 in the RPI after a midweek loss, have a strong hosting case with a 7-2 mark vs. RPI Top 25, 10-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 13-8 record vs. RPI Top 100. Auburn also possesses a strong 12-6 mark in the SEC. The SEC and ACC each have five host sites, while the Big 12 has three and Pac 12 has two. It should be said that the race between LSU and Arkansas for a host site was razor thin and hotly debated in our projection podcast.
As for at-large bids, teams falling out of the field this week include Minnesota, NC State, Coastal Carolina, Oregon and Florida Atlantic, while teams in the field this week include Nebraska, Indiana, Old Dominion, Utah and Charlotte.
Without further ado, the latest projections are here. It’s worth noting that these projections are a snapshot of where things currently stand, while also projecting how teams might also finish the regular season.