Conference Tournament Roundup: More on all the automatic qualifiers
The NCAA tournament field of 64 will be announced Monday at noon ET. Host sites were announced Sunday night. This final projection represents our best guess at what the field of 64 will look like. Below is a conference-by-conference look at our field (asterisks denote automatic qualifiers):
One-bid leagues (19—all automatic qualifiers): America East (Binghamton), Atlantic 10 (George Mason), Atlantic Sun (Kennesaw State), Big East (Xavier), CAA (College of Charleston), Horizon (Youngstown State), Ivy (Columbia), MAC (Kent State), MAAC (Siena), MEAC (Bethune-Cookman), NEC (Bryant), OVC (Jacksonville State), Patriot (Bucknell), SoCon (Georgia Southern), Summit (North Dakota State), Sun Belt (Louisiana-Lafayette), SWAC (Jackson State), WAC (Sacramento State), WCC (Pepperdine).
SEC (10): Florida, *LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas A&M.
ACC (6): Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Maryland, *Georgia Tech, North Carolina.
Big 12 (5): Oklahoma State, *TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas.
Pac-12 (5): *Oregon State, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford.
Big West (4): *Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine.
AAC (3): Louisville, *Houston, Central Florida.
Big Ten (2): *Indiana, Nebraska.
Big South (2): Liberty, *Campbell.
C-USA (2): *Rice, Old Dominion.
Missouri Valley (2): Indiana State, *Dallas Baptist.
Mountain West (2): UNLV, *San Diego State.
Southland (2): Sam Houston State, *Southeastern Louisiana.
We made one change since the Saturday Roundup/Stock Report: We replaced Clemson with UC Irvine, even though both teams were idle Sunday. From what we gather through the grapevine, the Division I Baseball Committee is not impressed with the ACC, which could be bad news for Clemson, which ranks No. 49 in the RPI and is just 7-12 vs. the top 50, 15-18 vs. the top 100. Irvine finished very poorly, losing its final six games and eight of its last nine, but the Anteaters have a stronger RPI (No. 43) than Clemson, a slightly better top 50 record (8-11), a comparable top 100 record (13-16), and they finished in third place in the No. 5 RPI conference—and Big West commissioner Dennis Farrell is chairman of the committee. So we expect the Anteaters to back their way into the field.
Last Teams In (weakest first): UC Irvine, Central Florida, North Carolina, Stanford, Old Dominion.
First Teams Out (strongest first): Clemson, Mercer, Illinois, Western Carolina, UC Santa Barbara, West Virginia.
We're going with SEC tournament champion LSU and Big 12 tournament champion TCU for the final two national seeds. We picked up some scuttlebutt earlier Sunday that the committee was considering three national seeds out of the SEC (with South Carolina as the third), at TCU's expense. But that was before the Horned Frogs closed out Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game. The Frogs have won 27 of their last 30 games, they are up to No. 11 in the RPI, 16-8 against the top 50, and now they have a Big 12 tournament championship under their belts. They deserve a national seed.
FINAL PROJECTED FIELD OF 64
|GAINESVILLE, Fla.||CORAL GABLES, Fla.
|1. (1) Florida^||1. Miami^|
|2. UNLV||2. Alabama|
|3. Bryant*||3. Central Florida|
|4. Siena*||4. Bethune-Cookman*|
|CORVALLIS, Ore.||STILLWATER, Okla.|
|1. (2) Oregon State^*||1. Oklahoma State^|
|2. Long Beach State||2. Nebraska|
|3. San Diego State*||3. Dallas Baptist*|
|4. North Dakota State*||4. Columbia*|
|1. (3) Indiana^*||1. Vanderbilt^|
|2. Oregon||2. Maryland|
|3. Indiana State||3. Cal State Fullerton|
|4. Youngstown State*||4. Kent State*|
|1. (4) Virginia^||1. Louisville^|
|2. Liberty||2. Kentucky|
|3. Old Dominion||3. North Carolina|
|4. George Mason*||4. Xavier*|
|LAFAYETTE, La.||OXFORD, Miss.|
|1. (5) Louisiana-Lafayette^*||1. Mississippi^|
|2. Mississippi State||2. Houston*|
|3. Kansas||3. UC Irvine|
|4. Jackson State*||4. Jacksonville State*|
|1. (6) Florida State^||1. South Carolina^|
|2. Washington||2. Georgia Tech*|
|3. College of Charleston*||3. Kennesaw State*|
|4. Georgia Southern*||4. Campbell*|
|BATON ROUGE, La.||HOUSTON|
|1. (7) Louisiana State^*||1. Rice^*|
|2. Texas Tech||2. Texas|
|3. Arizona State||3. Texas A&M|
|4. Southeastern Louisiana*||4. Binghamton|
|FORT WORTH, Texas||SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.
|1.(8) Texas Christian^*||1. Cal Poly^*|
|2. Arkansas||2. Pepperdine*|
|3. Sam Houston State||3. Stanford|
|4. Bucknell*||4. Sacramento State*|