The races for at-large spots and regional hosts are starting to crystallize after Wednesday's action. Quickie analysis, largely cribbed from my Twitter feed:
• I'm ready to pronounce Baylor and North Carolina State as safe at-large teams after wins against Kansas State and Clemson, respectively. Maybe you're not impressed with Baylor's 12-13 conference record or 4-11 mark against the top 50 in the RPI, but good luck finding enough worthy bubble teams to keep the Bears out even if they lose their next two games. And at least they are finishing strong, with six straight wins and three series wins in the last four weekends.
• Teams in very serious trouble after losses Wednesday: Southeastern Louisiana, Western Kentucky, Northwestern State, Kansas. All those teams essentially need to bounce back and run through their conference tournaments to capture automatic bids. In trouble, but less dire: Pittsburgh. Series loss to South Florida last weekend and Big East tourney-opening loss to Rutgers hurt, but that series win vs. Louisville and split vs. Connecticut still give the Panthers a better chance than many other bubble teams.
• Oregon State really helped itself with a 2-1 win vs. Oregon, but the Beavers still need to win their last series at home vs. Arizona.
• ACC Atlantic powers Clemson and Florida State are losing grips on hosting after losses today against N.C. State and Miami, respectively. Connecticut and Vanderbilt benefit in the race for the last host spot, and the Huskies probably now have the slight inside track because of geography. All other 15 hosts are now essentially locked up, particularly after Oklahoma pounded Kansas 12-2 and Miami hammered the Seminoles 9-3.
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