Postseason Stock Report: Analyzing National Seed & At-Large RacesStock Report
This time of year, a hefty majority of all questions submitted in our weekly college chat, as well as those sent via e-mail or Twitter, center around the battle for postseason positioning. Our readers want to know how the races for national seeds, host sites and at-large bids are shaping up—so it’s time to roll out our weekly Stock Report feature. Every week, we’ll examine how the postseason picture has shifted over the previous week, and look ahead at how the upcoming action will impact the races. This analysis is intended to complement our weekly NCAA tournament field of 64 projection, which was put together in a conference call with Kendall Rogers, Mark Etheridge and me on Tuesday night.
Below, we’ll look at who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the bubble for at-large spots, hosts and national seeds. This discussion is weighted more toward performance to date and remaining schedule than projection based on talent, but it’s also not intended to show exactly what the field would look like if the season ended today. We’re still looking ahead, and we’re still taking talent into consideration when putting together our forecasts.
During this discussion, we will reference the RPI Rankings through Tuesday’s games. And we’ll make use of records against the top 25, 50 or 100 in the RPI using the D1Baseball Nitty Gritty Report (also through Tuesday’s action).
We’ll get to at-large chances in a bit, but let’s start with a look at which teams are on track to earn national seeds and which are on track to host regionals through the first nine weeks of the season:
Top-Eight National Seeds
SECURE TEAMS: UCLA, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Georgia, Stanford, Mississippi State
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Georgia Tech
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Arkansas, Texas A&M, NC State, LSU
Change from our midseason Field of 64 projection two weeks ago: Louisville, Georgia and Georgia Tech replace NC State, Arizona State and Texas Tech as top-eight seeds.
Louisville improved its national seed footing more than any other team over the last two weeks, surging from outside our 16 hosts to the No. 4 national seed after going 4-2 in six road games at Clemson and NC State, highlighted by a sweep of the Wolfpack. Just like that, the Cardinals are up to No. 5 in the RPI, with a 5-4 record against the top 25 in the RPI, a 10-6 mark against the top 50, and a 13-5 record in ACC play — putting them alone atop the conference’s overall standings. That’s a slam-dunk national seed resumé at this stage.
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