Projected Field of 64 (May 3)

In coach Mark Marquess’ final season, Stanford now projects as a regional host

SEE ALSO: Top 25 Coverage

SEE ALSO: Field of 64 Coverage


While the eight national seeds remained the same, albeit with some changes to the order, there was a change in the hosting picture this week.

Stanford, which has caught fire of late, has supplanted fellow Pac-12 Conference member Arizona as a regional host. The Cardinal has swept back-to-back series, at Oregon and against Arizona, to move up the conference standings and surge up the RPI to No. 12. The Wildcats, on the other hand, have been swept in back-to-back weekends against Utah and Stanford. While they are 28-15 and No. 13 in the RPI, they are 9-12 in conference. They'll need to improve their conference position to remain in the hosting race.

In the rest of the Pac-12, UCLA is on the bubble in for the time being, but the Bruins still have some work to do, as they're just 21-20 and their RPI is a fringy No. 63. However, they should have ample opportunity to improve, as all but three of their remaining games come on the road. Washington rejoins the field with an RPI of No. 53 and an impressive 15-10 record against top 100 teams. The Huskies will clash with the Wildcats this weekend in an important conference series. Utah, meanwhile, is on the bubble out, sitting at 19-19 on the season and 9-12 in the Pac-12.

As far as national seeds go, Kentucky has made the biggest jump, moving up to No. 3. The Wildcats are also No. 3 in the RPI after winning a series at South Carolina. The Wildcats are tied for the best record in the SEC at 14-7 and are in first place in the Southeastern Conference East Division. They are 19-13 against top 100 teams and have series wins against the Gamecocks, Louisiana State, Vanderbilt, Mississippi and Texas A&M.

This week saw Mississippi rejoin the field on the heels of a big road series win at Arkansas. That makes 10 SEC teams in the tournament, which would match a record. The SEC placed 10 teams in the tournament in 2014 and the ACC did so last season, so there is precedent, but it is still a high number of bids from one conference. And with Ole Miss playing itself off the bubble, South Carolina is playing itself onto the bubble. The Gamecocks have lost five straight SEC series. Though the Gamecocks are within RPI range at No. 31, RPI isn't everything—as North Carolina proved a year ago. They will need to pull out of their tailspin in May.

In the Big 12 Conference, West Virginia is on the hosting bubble after dropping a series to Oklahoma. The Mountaineers will have a chance to bolster their case with a series against projected national seed Texas Tech this weekend. The Big 12 is tied with the ACC with six teams in the field, with Texas Christian and the Red Raiders both national seeds. Oklahoma State is on the bubble out but does have opportunities to build its resume over the coming weeks.

PROJECTED FIELD OF 64
Corvallis, OR Long Beach, CA
1. (1) Oregon State^* 1. Long Beach State^*
2. Cal State Fullerton 2. Arizona
3. Mercer* 3. Loyola Marymount*
4. Jackson State* 4. Bryant*
Chapel Hill, NC Morgantown, WV
1. (2) North Carolina^* 1. West Virginia^
2. St. John’s* 2. Arkansas
3. Charlotte 3. Old Dominion
4. Navy* 4. Kent State*
Lexington, KY Winston-Salem, NC
1. (3) Kentucky^* 1. Wake Forest^
2. Indiana 2. Maryland*
3. Connecticut 3. South Carolina
4. Northeastern* 4. Binghamton*
Fort Worth Baton Rouge, LA
1. (4) Texas Christian^* 1. Louisiana State^
2. Missouri State* 2. McNeese State*
3. Southeastern Louisiana 3. Oklahoma
4. New Mexico State* 4. Jacksonville*
Louisville Starkville, MS
1. (5) Louisville^ 1. Mississippi State^
2. Michigan 2. Southern Mississippi*
3. Washington 3. Florida State
4. Wright State* 4. Rhode Island*
Lubbock, TX Palo Alto, CA
1. (6) Texas Tech^ 1. Stanford^
2. Houston 2. Texas A&M
3. UCLA 3. New Mexico*
4. Oral Roberts* 4. Yale*
Gainesville, FL Charlottesville, VA
1. (7) Florida^ 1. Virginia^
2. Central Florida 2. Texas
3. Nebraska 3. Vanderbilt
4. Bethune-Cookman* 4. Liberty*
Clemson, SC Auburn, AL
1. (8) Clemson^ 1. Auburn^
2. Baylor 2. South Florida*
3. Mississippi 3. South Alabama*
4. Fairfield* 4. Tennessee Tech*
*-Automatic bid; ^-Regional host

Last Four In: Southeastern Louisiana, UCLA, Charlotte, Washington
First Four Out: Oklahoma State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Florida Atlantic, San Diego
Next Four Out: Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State, Brigham Young, Kansas


New Hosts: Stanford
New Auto Bids: Bryant (NEC), Loyola Marymount (WCC), South Alabama (Sun Belt)
New At-Large Bids: Mississippi, Southeastern Louisiana, Washington
Dropped Out: Oklahoma State, San Diego, Utah


10: SEC
6: Big 12, ACC
5: Pac-12
4: AAC, Big Ten
3: Conference USA
2: Big West, Southland
1: A-10, A-Sun, American East, Big East, Big South, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC, WAC, WCC

Comments