Projected Field Of 64: May 18Postseason
We’re less than two weeks away from Selection Monday, and several teams across the board continue to jockey for position. While the race for the final few top-eight seeds is heating up, we have two new regional hosts in our latest projections.
In terms of the top eight national seeds, the teams are the same, but there is some jockeying for position. For instance, TCU and Mississippi State dropped a couple of spots to 7 and 8, respectively, after tough weekends against UL Monroe and Missouri — both at home. Both teams are still in good shape for a top eight, but there are some teams to watch moving forward. Texas Tech continues to make some serious progress in the top-eight seed race. And while its conference record is somewhat problematic, the Red Raiders could eliminate that road block with a strong showing this weekend and in the Big 12 tournament. Florida, which has won five-straight SEC series, could get into the mix, too, with a series win at Arkansas this weekend.
In terms of the teams in the 9-16 seed range and hosts, there were two changes this week — Florida State and Pittsburgh are out, and Ole Miss and Gonzaga are in as Top 16s. FSU passes the eyeball test and has some strong metrics, but the committee didn’t put it on the list of 20 potential hosts because of an iffy RPI. Pitt was in the group of 20 last week, but the Panthers are down into the 40s from an RPI standpoint after getting swept at home by NC State last weekend. Ole Miss is trending upward after taking a home series from Vanderbilt, while Gonzaga swept Portland last weekend after returning from a COVID layoff. The Bulldogs have a strong RPI and did what every mid-major should do — play tough non-conference games and win some of them. Also keep an eye on South Carolina, Charlotte and Southern Miss. USM and Charlotte are a tick behind Louisiana Tech at the moment, while the Gamecocks helped their case a great deal by sweeping Kentucky on the road and getting up to 11 in the RPI. The Gamecocks could receive a huge shot in the arm this weekend by winning a home series against Tennessee.
Our updated bids by conference: ACC (10), SEC (9), Pac 12 (6), Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), Conference USA (4), American (2), Missouri Valley (2).
FIRST FIVE OUT:
Alabama, Virginia Tech, Air Force, Iowa, UC Santa Barbara
LAST FIVE IN:
Indiana State, Tulane, Clemson, LSU, Georgia
D1Baseball staff writers Kendall Rogers, Aaron Fitt and Mark Etheridge assemble the projections