2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament Projected Field Of 64 (4/20/22)
There are less than six weeks until Selection Monday. That’s simultaneously a blink of an eye and the length of a lightning delay in the postseason (which sure can feel like an eternity).
For college baseball teams, moving time has arrived. Most conferences have five more weeks of regular season play before beginning their conference tournament. That’s time enough to make an impression on the selection committee and to improve positioning in RPI, but time is of the essence.
While the postseason picture is becoming ever clearer, the emphasis here remains on “projected.” This is not meant to be how the tournament would be seeded if it started tomorrow, it is meant to illustrate what it might be expected to look like on Selection Monday.
Last weekend’s wild action that saw about half the teams in the Top 25 lose series has also caused a significant shakeup in the hosting race. Louisville and Texas Tech, which have consistently been listed as hosts this spring, were knocked off that line. Neither is out of the race, but both have serious RPI problems to fix (Louisville is 37, Texas Tech is 48).
Auburn also falls off the host line here and while four SEC hosts is certainly plausible when it’s all said and done, the conference only has three here. Florida and Vanderbilt have top-10 RPIs but are under .500 in conference play at the midpoint of the SEC season. Auburn (23), Alabama (42) and Texas A&M (35) all are lagging in RPI but are on the right side of .500 in SEC play. Any team from that group that wants to host is going to have to show more consistency in the next five weeks than it has over the last five weeks.
Speaking of needing more consistency, Notre Dame and Texas remain hosts in this projection despite losing series last weekend to teams near the bottom of the standings. The difference between the Fighting Irish and the Longhorns and the Cardinals and Red Raiders is that they remain in the top 15 of RPI, giving them more margin for error. Avoiding more bad losses down the stretch is important (something Texas didn't do Tuesday against Air Force, further cutting into its hopes), but their previous work has afforded them more margin for error.
New this week to the host line are Florida State, Georgia Southern, Oregon and Stanford. Florida State and Stanford saw their RPIs make big jumps last week and are now both in the top 20. The Cardinal are in strong shape after winning three road games over the last week, and they look like an elite team in the Pac-12. Florida State gets the nod here over other ACC contenders like Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest but cannot feel secure in that status, especially with the ACC standings as bunched up as they are.
Georgia Southern and Oregon both rank in the top 15 of RPI and are near the top of their conferences. The Eagles likely will need to win a Sun Belt trophy to host—either the regular season or conference tournament—but have firmly put themselves in the mix by going 5-1 against Texas State and Georgia State over the last two weeks. The Ducks are in a strong position to host for the second straight season but must continue to fight off the injury bug that’s hit their pitching staff. At this point, however, I’m not going to doubt their ability to keep doing so, not after they won four of their first five Pac-12 series.
The ACC leads all conferences with 10 bids in this projection, one ahead of the SEC. The ACC has 10 teams with between eight and 10 conference wins and only one (Miami) with more than 10 conference wins. That means there’s very little definition to the ACC race and that just about everything is still on the table for nearly every team in the conference, from hosting to missing regionals.
Baseball America will continue to update the projected field weekly throughout the spring.
|PROJECTED FIELD OF 64|
|Knoxville, Tenn.||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|1. (1) Tennessee*^||1. (16) Florida State^|
|2. Wofford*||2. Florida|
|3. Georgia State||3. Mercer|
|4. Alabama State*||4. Belmont*|
|Coral Gables, Fla.||Austin|
|1. (2) Miami*^||1. (15) Texas^|
|2. UCLA||2. Texas State|
|3. Connecticut*||3. Texas A&M|
|4. Delaware State*||4. Pennsylvania*|
|Corvallis, Ore.||Spokane, Wash.|
|1. (3) Oregon State*^||1. (14) Gonzaga*^|
|2. Texas Tech||2. Vanderbilt|
|3. San Diego||3. Rutgers|
|4. Army*||4. Nevada*|
|Stillwater, Okla.||Charlottesville, Va.|
|1. (4) Oklahoma State*^||1. (13) Virginia^|
|2. Grand Canyon*||2. Maryland*|
|3. Pittsburgh||3. Liberty*|
|4. Central Connecticut State*||4. Rider*|
|Fayetteville, Ark.||Statesboro, Ga.|
|1. (5) Arkansas^||1. (12) Georgia Southern*^|
|2. Louisville||2. Georgia Tech|
|3. Oklahoma||3. Louisiana State|
|4. Wright State*||4. Campbell*|
|Stanford||South Bend, Ind.|
|1. (6) Stanford^||1. (11) Notre Dame^|
|2. UC Santa Barbara*||2. Arizona|
|3. West Virginia||3. East Carolina|
|4. North Dakota State*||4. Central Michigan*|
|1. (7) Oregon^||1. (10) Dallas Baptist*^|
|2. Auburn||2. Texas Christian|
|3. North Carolina State||3. Louisiana Tech|
|4. Maine*||4. Davidson*|
|Athens, Ga.||Hattiesburg, Miss.|
|1. (8) Georgia^||1. (9) Southern Mississippi^|
|2. Wake Forest||2. Virginia Tech|
|3. Kennesaw State||3. Alabama|
|4. College of Charleston*||4. Southeastern Louisiana*|
* denotes automatic bid
^ denotes regional host
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