Field Of 64: May 3Projections
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?
It’s an interesting situation from a national seed standpoint this week. While the race for the final couple of national seeds is usually heated at this point in the season, it isn’t this week as there’s a sizable drop off between No. 8 TCU and the next team in the pecking order. Oregon State continues to lead the way as the top national seed, but as we discussed in the Committee Podcast this week, North Carolina is gaining some serious ground with an RPI of 2, along with a 10-3 mark vs. RPI Top 25 and a 16-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 as compared to an 8-0 mark vs. RPI Top 25 and 13-0 mark vs. RPI Top 50 for the Beavers. OSU is still the team here, but keep an eye on the Tar Heels.
Kentucky is gaining ground as a national seed, moving from No. 6 to No. 4 this week following a road series win over South Carolina, while Texas Tech holds steady at No. 3 and Clemson comes in a No. 6 following a tough road series sweep at North Carolina.
The hosting situation continues to be more volatile than the national seed race. Last week, we had West Virginia, Arkansas and Arizona in as hosts. However, both are out this week in lieu of Southern Mississippi, LSU and Stanford. The Golden Eagles are leading Conference USA and have solid marks — sitting at 21 in the RPI with a 7-4 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-10 record vs. RPI Top 50l. Meanwhile, LSU is coming off a road series sweep of Alabama and possesses 12 wins vs. RPI Top 50 and Stanford is one of the fast risers in the RPI, vaulting all the way to 12 over the past week with a good Pac-12 standing, a 7-4 mark vs. RPI Top 50 and a whopping 23 victories against RPI Top 100 clubs.
There are only two new at-large teams this week — Oregon and NC State. The Ducks captured a series win over California last week, though a tough road is still ahead with a three-game set against Oregon State coming up in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack has a favorable remaining schedule, which includes a huge home series against Clemson to close out the regular season.
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.