2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament Projected Field Of 64 (5/11/22)
Selection Monday is less than three weeks away. Most teams have just a half dozen games to play before their conference tournament to bolster their NCAA Tournament resumes.
While the postseason picture is coming into sharper focus, this exercise is still meant to be a projection and not what the field would look like if the season ended today. But with every passing day, there is less projection needed, as teams have less time to change their resumes in a dramatic way.
The hosting race is as hot as ever and at least 25 teams are in the mix to host regionals with a strong finish. In this projection, Louisiana State and Maryland move up to the host line. LSU is on a strong run that has pushed its RPI into the top 20. While its record against top-50 teams is a little light (7-12), its combination of RPI and strong SEC record (14-10) pushes it over the top. Maryland rocketed up to No. 15 in RPI after winning a series at Rutgers to take control of the Big Ten title race. It is just 3-4 against top-50 opponents, but it has solid overall metrics. There is some question of whether it can host at Smith Stadium, but Maryland will submit a bid to host.
Vanderbilt remains a strong candidate to host with a top-five RPI, but at 12-12 in the SEC it is walking a thin line. It probably needs five SEC wins (including the SEC Tournament) to host. Four might get it done, but that would likely lead to some anxious waiting before the host site announcement. In a similar boat is Texas, which has a top-20 RPI but an 11-10 record in the Big 12. The Longhorns need to sweep their final conference series against Kansas and then win at least once in the conference tournament, but a path is open to them.
The bubble race is also going strong. Florida’s sweep of Mississippi State and Oklahoma’s series win against TCU lifted the Gators and Sooners off the bubble last week, while Kentucky’s upset of Tennessee and North Carolina’s series win at North Carolina State gave the Wildcats and Tar Heels clearer paths to the tournament.
So, what series will impact the bubble race this weekend? Kentucky travels to South Carolina in a series both need and North Carolina hosts Wake Forest in another bubbly showdown. Keep an eye on Texas-San Antonio visiting Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles remain projected as hosts but have lost back-to-back series. The Roadrunners are in second place in Conference USA, two games behind Southern Miss, and need to get something out of this series both to hold their place in the standings and to boost their RPI (58). If Southern Miss can break out of its funk, a series win would shore up its hosting chances. But if UTSA can get a road series win, it would be positioning itself for its first trip to regionals since 2013.
Baseball America will continue to update the projected field weekly throughout the spring.
|PROJECTED FIELD OF 64|
|Knoxville, Tenn.||Spokane, Wash.|
|1. (1) Tennessee*^||1. (16) Gonzaga*^|
|2. Connecticut*||2. Stanford|
|3. Wake Forest||3. Grand Canyon*|
|4. Army*||4. Nevada*|
|Corvallis, Ore.||College Park, Md.|
|1. (2) Oregon State*^||1. (15) Maryland*^|
|2. Texas Tech||2. Vanderbilt|
|3. San Diego||3. East Carolina|
|4. Long Island*||4. Pennsylvania*|
|Stillwater, Okla.||Baton Rouge, La.|
|1. (3) Oklahoma State*^||1. (14) LSU^|
|2. Dallas Baptist||2. Oregon|
|3. UCLA||3. West Virginia|
|4. Fairfield*||4. College of Charleston*|
|Coral Gables, Fla.||College Station, Texas|
|1. (4) Miami*^||1. (13) Texas A&M^|
|2. Florida||2. Texas|
|3. Southeast Missouri State*||3. Arizona|
|4. Maine*||4. Evansville*|
|Blacksburg, Va.||Hattiesburg, Miss.|
|1. (5) Virginia Tech^||1. (12) Southern Mississippi*^|
|2. Wofford*||2. Florida State|
|3. Old Dominion||3. Coastal Carolina|
|4. Coppin State*||4. McNeese State*|
|1. (6) Louisville^||1. (11) Virginia^|
|2. UC Santa Barbara*||2. TCU|
|3. Rutgers||3. Liberty*|
|4. Wright State*||4. Campbell*|
|Fayetteville, Ark.||South Bend, Ind.|
|1. (7) Arkansas^||1. (10) Notre Dame^|
|2. Oklahoma||2. Texas State*|
|3. Louisiana Tech||3. Iowa|
|4. North Dakota State*||4. Ball State*|
|Athens, Ga.||Auburn, Ala.|
|1. (8) Georgia^||1. (9) Auburn^|
|2. North Carolina State||2. Georgia Southern|
|3. Mercer||3. Georgia Tech|
|4. Davidson*||4. Florida A&M*|
* denotes automatic bid
^ denotes regional host
College Podcast: Previewing LSU/Tennessee
Teddy Cahill and Peter Flaherty preview the blockbuster SEC series between LSU and Tennessee and more.
Last Four In
64. Louisiana Tech
61. Wake Forest
First Four Out
67. North Carolina
Next Four Out
69. Kennesaw State
70. Texas-San Antonio