College Podcast: Talking Conference Tournaments, NCAA Bubble
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy get you caught up on everything going on in college baseball this week, including conference tournaments, the NCAA Tournament bubble and coaching news.
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The topics discussed at length are:
- The top eight seeds in the field of 64 feeling fairly locked in at this point, with Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Texas, Arizona, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Tennessee and Mississippi State having done enough to earn those spots. At this point, if one of those teams isn't a top eight seed in the field, it will be because someone further down in the pecking order plays well this week and earns it.
- The current state of the bubble, which includes a number of major conference teams like Alabama, Duke, Louisiana State and Louisville all vying for position alongside teams like Long Beach State and Southern Illinois, which have made a late push to potentially get into at-large position.
- Fairfield taking a loss to Canisius in the MAAC Tournament, which puts them one loss away from being eliminated, and just as importantly, putting the Stags' postseason hopes in the hands of the selection committee. If that comes to pass, it will provide a unique test case for the committee that it has never had to handle before. If the Stags get in having not played any non-conference games, it will be fascinating to see how everyone views that precedent being set.
- The big series this weekend between Gonzaga and San Diego this weekend in Spokane, which was rescheduled after it was a casualty earlier this season due to the Zags' Covid pause. Gonzaga is looking to build a hosting resume. As of this moment, it is probably on the outside looking in for hosting, but a series win here would help. San Diego has fallen off of the bubble, but it can still win the WCC with a series sweep and even a series win might put them back in the conversation for an at-large bid.
- Tim Elko's superhuman effort in playing on a torn ACL, including him hitting two home runs in a losing effort in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday night. Mississippi is getting far more production than should be expected from him playing with the injured knee. He still can't run all that well, but he's been an extremely effective hitter and he'll continue to be a weapon in the postseason.
- Clemson's disappointing season coming to an end in the ACC Tournament, which means that it will also finish under .500 for the first time in a long time. The Tigers just never found consistency this season, and at various points, they looked like an NCAA Tournament lock and at others looked like they had no business playing baseball in June. It will be a long offseason for Clemson before what they hope will be a bounceback season in 2022.
- The coaching job movement, specifically the Utah and Rice jobs coming open. For different reasons, both jobs will attract good candidates and have potential.