2023 NCAA Tournament Projected Field of 64 (4/19/23)

College baseball has passed the halfway point of its regular season and the focus is beginning to shift to the postseason race.

Still, at this time of the season, there is a lot of projecting to do when building a Field of 64. This is meant to illustrate what the tournament would look like on Selection Monday, not how it would be seeded if it started tomorrow.

RPI means more and more with each passing day, but there’s still time for teams that need a bit of an RPI boost to get into a range typical for an at-large team or host. A few teams included in both spots of this field fit that bill.

The hosting race is shaping up excitingly and there are a few new hosts in this week’s field. Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Southern Miss move up, while Boston College, Campbell, Louisville and Oklahoma State fall out. Louisville and Campbell were just off the host line in this projection. BC and Oklahoma State have scuffled in conference play lately and need to climb back up the standings to host (Oklahoma State also has RPI trouble). 

UConn and Southern Miss are in the top 20 in RPI and at or near the top of their conferences. UConn may be at an RPI peak because after Wednesday it won’t face a top-100 RPI team the rest of the regular season. Southern Miss, meanwhile, must keep up its pace in the more difficult Sun Belt conference. But if both teams can stay in this range, they’ll be in strong spots to host.

The Pac-12 seems likely to produce at least two hosts thanks to its strength and depth this season. Oregon gets the nod alongside Stanford here, but Arizona State and UCLA could easily get into the mix as well with strong second halves.

It’s too early to really get into the tournament bubble, but we’re past the midpoint of conference play in the major conferences, making it easier to project conference records. In the ACC, teams typically must get to .500 in conference play, as no ACC team has earned an at-large bid with a losing conference record since 2016. In the Pac-12, a winning record is all but required, as no team has gotten an at-large bid with less than 16 Pac-12 wins since the league expanded in 2012. There’s more leeway in the SEC, but teams generally must get to 13 conference wins to have a chance. For teams from those conferences that are sitting on the bubble, those are the numbers to watch and were key in building this field. 

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