2024 NCAA Baseball Tournament Bracket: Projected Field Of 64 (May 8)


With less than three weeks until Selection Monday, college baseball is into the stretch run of the season. Most conferences have just two weekends of play remaining before the start of their tournaments and the Patriot League this weekend begins its tournament, the first postseason baseball of the year.

Still, at this time of the season, there is some projection involved with 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.

You can find this week’s Bubble Watch here.

2024 NCAA Baseball Bracket

Lexington, Ky.   Santa Barbara, Calif.
1. (1) Kentucky^*   1. (16) UC Santa Barbara^*
2. Oregon   2. Arizona
3. Indiana   3. Alabama
4. Nebraska-Omaha*   4. Fresno State*
College Station, Texas.   Durham
1. (2) Texas A&M^   1. (15) Duke^
2. Louisiana*   2. Mississippi State
3. TCU   3. Northeastern* 
4. Sacred Heart*   4. Saint Louis*
Clemson, S.C.   Athens, Ga.
1. (3) Clemson^*   1. (14) Georgia^
2. UNC Wilmington*   2. Wake Forest
3. UNC Greensboro*   3. Southern Miss
4. Army*   4. Kennesaw State*
Knoxville, Tenn.   Terre Haute, Ind.
1. (4) Tennessee^   1. (13) Indiana State^*
2. San Diego*   2. Vanderbilt
3. Louisville   3. Kansas State
4. Wright State*   4. Bowling Green State*
Chapel Hill, N.C.   Columbia, S.C.
1. (5) North Carolina^   1. (12) South Carolina^
2. Nebraska*   2. NC State
3. Coastal Carolina   3. UCF
4. Bryant*   4. Columbia*
Fayetteville, Ark.   Charlottesville, Va.
1. (6) Arkansas^   1. (11) Virginia^
2. Oklahoma State   2. West Virginia
3. Louisiana Tech*   3. James Madison
4. Arkansas-Little Rock*   4. High Point*
Tallahassee, Fla.   Norman, Okla.
1. (7) Florida State^   1. (10) Oklahoma^*
2. Troy   2. Dallas Baptist
3. Florida   3. UConn*
4. Bethune-Cookman*   4. Lamar*
Greenville, N.C.   Corvallis, Ore.
1. (8) East Carolina^*   1. (9) Oregon State^
2. Texas   2. UC Irvine
3. Virginia Tech   3. St. John’s
4. Niagara*   4. Grand Canyon*

* denotes automatic bid
^ denotes regional host

Last Four In

61. Florida
62. Coastal Carolina
63. St. John’s
64. Indiana

First Four Out

65. Xavier
66. Utah
67. LSU
68. California

Next Four Out

69. Charleston
70. Georgia Tech
71. Illinois
72. Cincinnati 

When does the NCAA baseball bracket come out? 

The full field of 64 is released on Monday, May 27 at 12 p.m. ET, an event commonly referred to as “Selection Monday.” The 2024 NCAA Tournament is set to begin later that week with regionals on Friday, May 31. That sets the path to the 2024 NCAA College World Series, which begins Friday, June 14. 

Some notes about the field

A couple changes on the host line this week. UC Santa Barbara and Georgia move up this week. The Gauchos are now leading the Big West and rank No. 16 in RPI. Much of the rest of their resume is a little light – they’re just 3-3 in quad 1 games, though they are 11-7 in the first two quads, and they rank No. 40 in KPI – but the main pieces of the resume are strong. While UCSB does give the field a second West Coast host site, joining Oregon State, I don’t think the committee cares. It’s moved away from that kind of geography-based thinking in recent years. So, don’t expect the Gauchos to get a boost, but right now they don’t need it.

The Bulldogs move up to the host line after sweeping Vanderbilt to improve to 13-11 in the SEC and No. 5 in RPI. Georgia closes with series at Georgia and home against Florida. Split those six games to get to 16-14 in SEC play and the Bulldogs will host with their RPI.

I’m still bored by the top-eight seed race, but the race for No. 1 overall fascinates me. As I wrote in this space last week, the teams projected as the top eight seeds today will be very difficult to dislodge. They all rank in the top nine of RPI and unless Oregon State or maybe Georgia get really hot, what you see is probably what you’re getting, in some order.

But I have no real idea who will get the No. 1 overall seed. Texas A&M ranks No. 1 in RPI today. The Aggies would be the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament, if it started today, however. Tennessee is No. 1 in every human poll. The Volunteers are No. 8 in RPI, however. If either Texas A&M or Tennessee got the No. 1 overall seed, it would break recent precdent. Not since 2015 has the No. 1 seed gone to a team that ranked outside the top two in RPI and not since 2016 has the No. 1 seed gone to a team that didn’t win its regular-season conference title.

Kentucky fits both criteria, as it is No. 2 in RPI and in first place in the SEC.  There’s still a way to go and time for these things to change, but Tennessee is far from the top two in RPI. Clemson, the ACC leader, is closer at No. 4, but still decently off the pace. This really might come down to Texas A&M, Kentucky and Arkansas, the current top three in RPI, who have opened up a bit of a gap on the rest of the field in the metric.

A lot of high RPI teams are flirting with being under .500 in conference play. It’s not unique to this season but it does feel like there are more teams than usual where raw win totals mean more than metrics at this stage of the season. Within the top 40 of RPI, 10 teams are at or below .500 in conference play. There are varying degrees of worry about those teams – Wake Forest (12-12 ACC, RPI 11) is not the same as Maryland (10-11 Big Ten, RPI 35) – but it’s making things tricky to project.

Right now, however, it looks like it’s going to be hard for the committee to draw a hard (or even a firm) line against teams with losing conference records. Who does that help? Probably not 12-18 SEC teams. In the last decade, only one 12-win SEC team has made it and that team only played 29 conference games, meaning it was 12-17, not 12-18 (it was 2021 Alabama). But a 14-16 Big 12 or Sun Belt team? I’d feel a lot better about them.

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