Final College Baseball Projected Field Of 64
On the eve of Selection Monday, Baseball America presents its final Projected Field of 64.
In contrast to last year, the bubble was small this year and there were few conference tournament upsets that caused late shakeups to the field. But that doesn’t mean the decisions for the final few teams were easy.
Dallas Baptist and Troy, two teams that finished their regular seasons with the second-best record in their respective leagues and again finished as runners-up in their conference tournaments, get the nod for two of the final spots in the field. Both have won at least 40 games and have top-40 RPIs, two metrics that bode well for their inclusion in the field.
Kentucky and Washington, two power conference schools, also got a couple of the final at-large bids. Kentucky has an unsightly 13-18 record against Southeastern Conference schools, but with an RPI of 31, 16 top-50 wins and a 15-13 record away from Lexington, it compares favorably to other bubble teams in every other metric. Washington has the opposite problem. The Huskies nearly won the Pac-12 Conference and went 20-10 in the league but rank 63rd in RPI because of a poor nonconference showing. But by finishing third in the Pac-12, Washington gets in.
On the other side of the bubble, Northeastern and Central Florida were two teams that got squeezed out in the end. Both have strong aspects to their resumes – Northeastern’s No. 35 RPI is better than DBU and Troy and UCF has 22 wins against top-100 opponents – but just weren’t able to get over the edge. UCF is weighed down by its mediocre 13-12 record against American Athletic Conference competition and an RPI of 43. Northeastern went just 3-9 against top-50 opponents and 9-16 against top-100 opponents, marks that do not compare favorably with other bubble teams.
In the race for top-eight seeds, no one this week helped themselves more than Florida State. By winning the ACC Tournament, the Seminoles moved all the way to No. 4. Stetson also moves into the top-eight after doubling up its Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title with a tournament title and running its RPI up to No. 4. Clemson and Georgia move outside the top-eight, but the margin is tight on the top-eight bubble and both the Tigers and Bulldogs have solid cases.
It is also important to remember that this season the way the Field of 64 is constructed has changed. No longer does the selection committee choose eight national seeds and then pair them with another host side based primarily on geography. Instead, they will seed all 16 host sites and pair the regionals accordingly. That means No. 1 seeds from the same conference can be paired together for super regionals, as is the case in this projection with 7-10 matchup between North Carolina and Clemson.
|PROJECTED FIELD OF 64|
|Gainesville, FL||Raleigh, NC|
|1. (1) Florida^||1. (16) North Carolina State^|
|2. Missouri State*||2. Auburn|
|3. Troy||3. Ohio State|
|4. Long Island-Brooklyn*||4. Wright State*|
|Stanford, CA||Austin, TX|
|1. (2) Stanford^*||1. (15) Texas^|
|2. Mississippi State||2. UCLA|
|3. San Diego State*||3. Houston|
|4. Texas Southern*||4. Gonzaga*|
|Oxford, MS||Conway, SC|
|1. (3) Mississippi^*||1. (14) Coastal Carolina^*|
|2. Southern Miss*||2. Louisville|
|3. Kent State*||3. Vanderbilt|
|4. Columbia*||4. Morehead State*|
|Tallahassee, FL||Lubbock, TX|
|1. (4) Florida State^*||1. (13) Texas Tech^|
|2. Jacksonville||2. Connecticut|
|3. Washington||3. Texas A&M|
|4. Hartford*||4. New Mexico State*|
|Fayetteville, AR||Greenville, NC|
|1. (5) Arkansas^||1. (12) East Carolina^*|
|2. Indiana||2. Duke|
|3. Dallas Baptist||3. St. John's*|
|4. Oral Roberts*||4. Army*|
|Corvallis, OR||Minneapolis, MN|
|1. (6) Oregon State^||1. (11) Minnesota ^*|
|2. Baylor*||2. Louisiana State|
|3. Cal State Fullerton*||3. Oklahoma State|
|4. Canisius*||4. Saint Louis*|
|Chapel Hill, NC||Clemson, SC|
|1. (7) North Carolina^||1. (10) Clemson^|
|2. South Carolina||2. Tennessee Tech|
|3. UNC Wilmington*||3. Kentucky|
|4. North Carolina A&T*||4. Campbell*|
|Deland, FL||Athens, GA|
|1. (8) Stetson^*||1. (9) Georgia^|
|2. South Florida||2. Purdue|
|3. Florida Atlantic||3. Oklahoma|
|4. Northwestern State*||4. Samford*|
|*-Automatic bid; ^-Regional host|
Bubble Watch: LSU, North Carolina Bolster Hosting Cases
As conference tournaments continue, we look at NCAA Tournament bubble winners and losers from Friday.
Last Four In
- Dallas Baptist
- Florida Atlantic
Last Four Out
- Central Florida
Next Four Out
- Texas Christian
- Sam Houston State
- South Alabama
- Georgia Tech