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NCAA Division-1 Baseball Regionals Projection 16 May 2016

May 16, 2016
Could freshman RHP Riley Ottesen and the 20-25 Utah Utes upset the post-season hopes of a few bubble teams? (photo courtesy of Trev Mozingo and utahutes.com)

Could freshman RHP Riley Ottesen and the 20-25 Utah Utes upset the post-season hopes of a few bubble teams? (photo courtesy of Trev Mozingo and utahutes.com)

As we sit, exactly, two weeks away from Selection Monday for the NCAA Division-1 Baseball Championship field being announced, the volatility continues as who will make the Field of 64. While it’s a foregone conclusion that four of the national seeds have been, effectively, etched in stone, not much else has been decided with the exception of one team: Princeton, who won the Ivy League’s automatic bid with a thrilling three-game series victory against Yale to represent the Ancient Eight in the tournament.

Two national seeds change in this week’s projection, as Vanderbilt and Mississippi replace Clemson and Florida State. While Clemson is, still, slated to be a regional host, the Seminoles drop down to a 2-seed, following a horrible 1-4 week that included losses to Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast and a series loss at Duke. Florida State joins Coastal Carolina as teams that are moved from hosting duties this week. In the Chanticleers’ case, the loss of a regional hosting bid has more to do with the lack of western hosts. Coastal is projected to be a top seed at Los Angeles while North Carolina repeats as a 1-seed in a regional at Tucson. The hosts, UC Santa Barbara and Arizona, respectively, are 2-seeds in these projected matchups..

Meanwhile, three conferences have new projected champions: Minnesota replaces Michigan as the Big Ten champ, although the Wolverines, still, receive an at-large bid after their unexpectedly bad weekend at Ohio State. However, in the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga takes the auto-bid from St. Mary’s, knocking the Gaels out of the tournament and North Florida does the same to Jacksonville in the Atlantic Sun.

St. Mary’s and Jacksonville join Oregon State and College of Charleston as teams on the outside of the Field of 64 projection, this week, while Gonzaga, North Florida, Arizona State and New Orleans fill out the final spots in the tournament.

While having a down year in regards to national presence, the PAC-12 is causing a bit of consternation among teams that are “on the bubble”. Like the Big West, the PAC-12 has no post-season tournament and the conference auto-bid goes to the team in first place which, at this time, is Utah. The Utes, with an overall record of 20-25, have a 15-9 conference mark with two series remaining (at California, vs. Washington). One game behind is Washington and Arizona (one conference series remaining) sits a half game behind the Huskies. Ten of the 11 teams in-conference are, still, mathematically alive for the conference championship and, with six of those not, currently, included in the Field of 64, the eyes of the bubble-watchers will be on the PAC-12.

It’s worth noting that Georgia is a projected 2-seed with a 26-26 record, based upon the brutal schedule of the SEC and the Dawgs holding, by far, the toughest opponent schedule in the nation. The Bulldogs might be overlooked for another entrant by the NCAA, Also, as noted a few weeks ago, Northwestern State might be a casualty of the selection committee in favor of a more popular and higher profile team, namely Oregon State, who has been ranked by most of the national pollsters all season. For the record, the Beavers have failed to crack my top-25 rankings since 11 April.

While this projection does not, necessarily, reflect my weekly top-25 rankings  posted Sunday night, it is based upon predicted finishes to the season, current RPI, conference strength and an attempt to understand and predict the outcome based upon the long-held belief that the NCAA Selection Committee works with a different set of standards.

Gainesville Regional
(1) Florida (SEC champion)
Michigan (Big Ten at-large)
Bryant (Northeast champion)
Florida A&M (MEAC champion)

Los Angeles Regional
Coastal Carolina (Big South champion)
UC Santa Barbara (Big West at-large) *host*
California (PAC-12 at-large)
Seattle (WAC champion)

Nashville Regional
(8) Vanderbilt (SEC at-large)
Dallas Baptist (MVC champion)
Wake Forest (ACC at-large)
Southeast Missouri State (OVC champion)

Starkville Regional
Mississippi State (SEC at-large)
TCU (Big 12 at-large)
Minnesota (Big Ten champion)
Hartford (America East champion)

College Station Regional
(4) Texas A&M (SEC at-large)
Oklahoma State (Big 12 at-large)
Creighton (Big East Champion)
Oral Roberts (Summit champion)

Lubbock Regional
Texas Tech (Big 12 champion)
Rice (C-USA champion)
Boston College (ACC at-large)
Wright State (Horizon champion)

Columbia Regional
(5) South Carolina (SEC at-large)
Duke (ACC at-large)
Gonzaga (WCC champion)
UNC Greensboro (Southern champion)

Clemson Regional
Clemson (ACC at-large)
Georgia (SEC at-large)
Long Beach State (Big West at-large)
North Florida (Atlantic Sun champion)

Coral Gables Regional
(3) Miami-Florida (ACC champion)
Florida Atlantic (C-USA at-large)
Southeastern Louisiana (Southland champion)
Monmouth (Metro Atlantic champion)

Baton Rouge Regional
LSU (SEC at-large)
Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt champion)
Washington (PAC-12 at-large)
New Orleans (Southland at-large)

Oxford Regional
(6) Mississippi (SEC at-large)
Georgia Tech (ACC at-large)
Northwestern State (Southland at-large)
Kent State (MAC champion)

Hattiesburg Regional
Southern Mississippi (C-USA at-large)
Florida State (ACC at-large)
South Alabama (Sun Belt at-large)
Princeton (Ivy champion)

Louisville Regional
(2) Louisville (ACC at-large)
Tulane (AAC champion)
Arizona State (PAC-12 at-large)
Alabama State (SWAC champion)

Tucson Regional
North Carolina (ACC at-large)
Arizona (PAC-12 champion) *host*
BYU (WCC at-large)
New Mexico (MWC champion)

Raleigh Regional
(7) North Carolina State (ACC at-large)
East Carolina (AAC at-large)
UNC Wilmington (Colonial champion)
VCU (Atlantic 10 champion)

Charlottesville Regional
Virginia (ACC at-large)
Cal State Fullerton (Big West champion)
Kentucky (SEC at-large)
Navy (Patriot champion)

Last Ten Teams In:

New Orleans
Kentucky
Washington
BYU
California
Boston College
South Alabama
Long Beach State
Northwestern State
Wake Forest

First Ten Teams Out:

College of Charleston
Louisiana Tech
Alabama
Jacksonville
Nebraska
Rutgers
Oregon State
Indiana State
Fresno State
Sam Houston State

Next Ten Teams Out:

Pittsburgh
Illinois
Marshall
Michigan State
Connecticut
St. Mary’s
Maryland
High Point
Pepperdine
Cal State Northridge

Teams by conference:

ACC (11)
SEC (9)
PAC-12 (4)
Big 12 (3)
Big West (3)
C-USA (3)
Southland (3)
AAC (2)
Big Ten (2)
Sun Belt (2)
WCC (2)
America East (1)
Atlantic 10 (1)
Atlantic Sun (1)
Big East (1)
Big South (1)
Colonial (1)
Horizon (1)
Ivy (1)
Metro Atlantic (1)
MAC (1)
MEAC (1)
MVC (1)
MWC (1)
Northeast (1)
OVC (1)
Patriot (1)
Southern (1)
SWAC (1)
Summit (1)
WAC (1)

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