Field Of 64 Projection: May 23

Postseason


Postseason Stock Report
• RPI Nitty Gritty
• Podcast: National Seeds/Hosts | At-large/Auto Bids
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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?

If you’re looking for a dramatic race for several national seeds over the next week, you might want to move on. With TCU taking care of business at California last weekend and LSU doing a clean sweep of Mississippi State on the road, two of the final three national seeds seem to be locked in, with the caveat being you never know what kind of curveballs the committee might throw at us. While the national seed race might not be completely filled with uncertainty, there is some when it comes to the final national seed. You have three main contenders in Stanford, Kentucky and Southern Miss, while it also would be wise to watch Virginia and Wake Forest in the ACC tournament, and potentially, Arkansas if it were to go on a hellacious run in Hoover.

For now, the edge for the final national seed goes to the Cardinal. Stanford picked up yet another series win last week and is one of the hottest teams in the country. The Cardinal has an impressive 7-4 mark vs. RPI Top 25 and an outstanding 28-13 mark vs. RPI Top 100. By comparison, UK is 4-7 vs. RPI Top 25, but does possess an impressive 18 wins vs. RPI Top 50. There’s also the Golden Eagles, who are riding a 14-game winning streak and are up to 10 in the RPI. USM has yet to play a game against an RPI Top 25 team, which raises some alarm bells from a national seed standpoint, but Scott Berry’s club has been incredibly consistent and storming through the C-USA tournament would give them a highly compelling argument.

From a hosting standpoint, there’s a good chance 15 of the 16 host sites are pretty much locked into place. However, as with the final national seed, there’s some stiff competition for that final host site. Oklahoma was a host in last week’s projections, but after dropping a pair of games to Oklahoma State, the Sooners are bumped out with Arizona moving in as a host. Arizona’s RPI is strong and its conference record only should improve this weekend. OU could move back in as a host later this week with a strong start to the Big 12 tournament. The Sooners have an RPI in the mid-20s, but possess some impressive metrics, such as an 11-17 mark vs. RPI Top 25 and a No. 26 overall strength of schedule. Other teams to watch hosting-wise include American Conference co-champs UCF and Houston, Missouri State and potentially teams such as Florida State and Michigan should they storm through their respective conference tournaments.

In terms of at-large bids, South Alabama was bumped out this week and Loyola Marymount inserted, making the West Coast Conference a two-bid league. Meanwhile, auto-bid wise, changes are as follows: VCU (Atlantic 10), Illinois-Chicago (Horizon), Fresno State (Mountain West), Texas Southern (SWAC) and Gonzaga (WCC).

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.

National seed hosts Regional hosts
CORVALLISCLEMSON
1 Oregon State* (1)1 Clemson
4 Illinois-Chicago*4 Mercer*
3 Gonzaga*3 Connecticut
2 NC State2 Vanderbilt
CHAPEL HILLTUCSON
1 North Carolina (2)1 Arizona
4 Winthrop*4 New Mexico State*
3 Maryland*3 Loyola Marymount
2 St. John's*2 Oklahoma
LUBBOCKCHARLOTTESVILLE
1 Texas Tech* (3)1 Virginia
4 Bryant*4 VCU*
3 Texas A&M3 Old Dominion
2 Nebraska2 West Virginia
GAINESVILLEWINSTON-SALEM
1 Florida* (4)1 Wake Forest
4 Bethune-Cookman*4 UNC Wilmington*
3 UL Lafayette*3 Ole Miss
2 UCF*2 South Florida
LOUISVILLELEXINGTON
1 Louisville* (5)1 Kentucky
4 Tennessee Tech*4 Kent State*
3 Binghamton*3 Indiana
2 Michigan2 Florida State
BATON ROUGEHATTIESBURG
1 LSU (6)1 Southern Miss*
4 Texas Southern*4 Jacksonville*
3 McNeese*3 Auburn
2 Baylor2 Southeastern La.
FORT WORTHFAYETTEVILLE
1 TCU (7)1 Arkansas
4 Marist*4 Oral Roberts*
3 Louisiana Tech3 Texas
2 Houston2 Missouri State*
STANFORDLONG BEACH
1 Stanford (8)1 Long Beach State*
4 Holy Cross*4 Fresno State*
3 Yale*3 UCLA
2 CS Fullerton2 Mississippi State

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