Projected Field Of 64

Miami Columbia, S.C. Athens, Ga. Tallahassee, Fla.
1. (1) Miami#* 1. South Carolina# 1. (5) Georgia#* 1. Florida State#
2. Florida 2. North Carolina State 2. Georgia Tech 2. Southern Mississippi
3. Tulane 3. Charlotte* 3. College of Charleston 3. Mississippi
4. Florida Atlantic 4. Jackson State* 4. Jacksonville State* 4. Bethune-Cookman*
Tempe, Ariz. Irvine, Calif. College Station, Texas Ann Arbor, Mich.
1. (2) Arizona State#* 1. UC Irvine# 1. (6) Texas A&M#* 1. San Diego*
2. St. John’s* 2. Arizona 2. Vanderbilt 2. Michigan#*
3. Dallas Baptist 3. Texas 3. Houston 3. Louisiana State

4. Dartmouth* 4. Army* 4. Texas-San Antonio* 4. Wright State*
Cary, N.C. Greenville, N.C. Stillwater, Okla. Corvallis, Ore.
1. (3) North Carolina# 1. Coastal Carolina* 1. (7) Oklahoma State# 1. Oregon State#
2. UNC Wilmington* 2. East Carolina# 2. Wichita State* 2. Long Beach State

3. Elon* 3. Virginia 3. Arkansas 3. Oklahoma
4. Stony Brook* 4. Monmouth* 4. Southern California 4. Canisius*
Houston Lincoln, Neb. Palo Alto, Calif. Fullerton, Calif.
1. (4) Rice#* 1. Nebraska# 1. (8) Stanford# 1. Cal State Fullerton#*
2. Missouri 2. Kentucky 2. Pepperdine 2. California
3. Texas Christian* 3. Oral Roberts* 3. UC Davis 3. Clemson
4. Louisiana-Monroe* 4. Kent State* 4. Lipscomb* 4. Fresno State*
*Conference Champ
#Regional Host


• Miami and Arizona State remain the top two national seeds, as they were in the midseason projection, but North Carolina could overtake both with series wins at Virginia and Miami down the stretch. Miami, UNC and Florida State each host regionals out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which receives seven bids overall. North Carolina State has a strong case to host as well, particularly with two wins over East Carolina under its belt, but the committee might be reluctant to put regionals at four ACC sites, so give the Pirates the nod for now. With a 10-13 conference record, Clemson has some work to do to secure an at-large bid, but its Ratings Percentage Index (36) is decent, and wins against likely regional teams North Carolina State, Coastal Carolina, Elon and College of Charleston help the Tigers’ cause.

• The Southeastern Conference gets eight berths, but just two host sites. Arkansas and Louisiana State should battle Alabama and Tennessee for the SEC’s final two bids. Qualifying for the conference tournament will be key; Alabama and Tennessee are ahead of LSU and Arkansas in the conference standings, but the Crimson Tide and Volunteers are much lower in the RPI and have much more difficult stretch runs. Give South Carolina the edge for the league’s second host site over Kentucky because the Gamecocks won the head-to-head series against the Wildcats. But UK could swipe a third regional host away from Oregon State if it can finish stronger than the Beavers. The Southeast already has six regional sites, though, and Corvallis would give the West Coast a fifth site, along with the Midwest. The Beavers are just 20-16 overall but are strong in the RPI (14) and have a very manageable closing stretch, with series at Washington State and Southern California and home series against UCLA and Pacific.

• Southern California gets the Pacific-10 Conference’s sixth bid over preseason No. 1 UCLA. The Trojans are just 21-22 overall, but they boast seven wins over regional teams Pepperdine, Arizona, California and Cal State Fullerton, and they won two out of three in their conference series against the Bruins. And USC has a chance to finish strong with home series against Washington and Oregon State followed by a road trip to Washington State. With a 6-6 conference record, UCLA still has a chance to earn a regional berth if it can finish in the top half of the league, but looming road series at Oregon State and Cal and a home set this weekend with Arizona State make the Bruins’ road considerably tougher.

• Oklahoma gets the Big 12’s sixth bid over Baylor, even though the Bears are currently a game and a half up on the Sooners in the Big 12. OU still has winnable series remaining against Kansas and Kansas State (followed by a tough series against Oklahoma State), and the Sooners won two out of three against Baylor. They also have five wins against likely regional teams Houston, Texas Christian and Dallas Baptist.

• San Diego and Coastal Carolina look like strong contenders to earn No. 1 seeds for the second straight year, but neither team is likely to submit a bid to host a regional as they did a year ago. USD coach Rich Hill said San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium played like a neutral site a year ago, rather than a home environment, so the Toreros don’t plan to bid again. And the Myrtle Beach Pelicans have said their stadium is unlikely to be available again for Coastal, meaning the Chanticleers would have to bring in temporary seating to Charles L. Watson Stadium—a scenario that also seems unlikely. So USD gets shipped to Michigan as the top seed, and Coastal is the No. 1 seed at East Carolina, which is 10th in the RPI and would give Conference USA a second host. Southern Mississippi is another potential host from CUSA, but the Pirates won the head-to-head series in Hattiesburg, so give them the edge.

• Bubble teams from the Big East (Notre Dame) and Colonial Athletic Association (James Madison and William & Mary) miss out on regionals because of low RPIs and a lack of wins against regional contenders. San Diego State has good wins against San Diego, Oklahoma State, Houston and Southern California, but series losses to Texas Christian, Nevada-Las Vegas and New Mexico have caused them to sink in the Mountain West standings. Barring a run in the MWC tournament, the Aztecs are likely to be left out.