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NCAA Division-1 Baseball Regionals Final Projection – 23 May 2016

May 23, 2016
Senior 1B/3B Danny Rosenbaum has reason to celebrate, as his Louisville Cardinals are projected as the #1 overall national seed for the 2016 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament (photo courtesy of gocards.com)

Senior 1B/3B Danny Rosenbaum has reason to celebrate, as his Louisville Cardinals are projected as the #1 overall national seed for the 2016 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament (photo courtesy of gocards.com)

Seven days from the announcement of the Field of 64 for the 2016 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and six-plus days from the revealing of the eight national seeds and 16 regional host sites, the skeleton of the tournament is, pretty much, in place. However, there are, still, pieces that can be moved in advance of the selection committee’s decisions on Memorial Day.

Overall, the biggest change, semantics-wise, is Louisville getting the top national seed, while Florida moves down a spot. Miami-Florida, Texas A&M and South Carolina remain the same as national seeds three through five, but Mississippi drops out of the sixth spot in favor of SEC and state foe Mississippi State. Vanderbilt and North Carolina swap the seventh and eighth national seeds, with the former garnering the higher position this week.

Ole Miss joins LSU, Clemson, Texas Tech, Coastal Carolina, Virginia, UC Santa Barbara and Arizona as host sites in this week’s projection. The Chanticleers, projected as the top seed in Los Angeles (hosted by UC Santa Barbara) last week, is, now, predicted to host at renovated Watson Stadium in Conway, SC. Coastal’s updated status pushes Southern Mississippi out as a host this week while UNC takes the top seed in the Los Angeles Regional and TCU replaces the Tar Heels as the team to beat in the Tucson Regional, hosted by Arizona. Both the Gauchos and Wildcats remain hosts out of geographical necessity based upon qualifying Mountain and Pacific Time Zone teams as opposed to a standard regional top-seed résumé.

Meanwhile, Nebraska moves into the auto-bid spot for the Big Ten while Sam Houston State is, now, projected to win the Southland tournament. Both teams didn’t make last week’s projection, yet have finished the regular season, extremely, strong. Both teams, currently, sport résumés strong enough to be awarded an at-large bid should they reach their respective conference tournament finals. One other conference, the Southern, has a new projected champion as Mercer gets the nod over UNC Greensboro.

While the possibility of a conference tournament automatic bid being won by a team that is not, at this time, expected to make the Field of 64 exists, the most visible example of this situation remains in the PAC-12. Utah, at 22-26 overall, leads the conference by a half game (16-10) over Washington (16-11) with a Monday contest scheduled at California and a regular season-ending series vs. the Huskies set for this weekend in Salt Lake City. Even if the Utes lose to the Golden Bears on Monday, the winner of the Utah/Washington series will be awarded the PAC-12 auto bid, assuming all three games are played to their conclusion. Arizona State, who can finish the season with an 18-12 conference record provided they sweep Southern California, would lose in a head-to-head matchup with, either, Utah or Washington. For purposes of this projection, as the host team this weekend, Utah is projected to get the conference’s automatic bid.

Teams making it into this week’s projected field are Nebraska, Sam Houston State, Louisiana Tech, Mercer and Utah, while Georgia, New Orleans, Kentucky, California and UNC Greensboro are out.

I want to thank the thousands of college baseball fans who have viewed these projections over the past few weeks. Without your love for the sport, I wouldn’t have a reason to spend the time and effort, often, late into the evening. Here’s to wishing your favorite team the best of luck as we head into Selection Monday and for another fantastic trip to the College World Series in Omaha.

Louisville Regional
(1) Louisville (ACC champion)
Bryant (Northeast champion)
Nebraska (Big Ten champion)
Monmouth (Metro Atlantic champion)

Los Angeles Regional
North Carolina (ACC at-large)
UC Santa Barbara (Big West at-large) *host*
Washington (PAC-12 at-large)
Seattle (WAC champion)

Raleigh Regional
(8) North Carolina State (ACC at-large)
UNC Wilmington (Colonial champion)
Cal State Fullerton (Big West at-large)
VCU (Atlantic 10 champion)

Conway (SC) Regional
Coastal Carolina (Big South champion)
Florida State (ACC at-large)
Southeastern Louisiana (Southland at-large)
North Florida (Atlantic Sun champion)

College Station Regional
(4) Texas A&M (SEC at-large)
Dallas Baptist (MVC champion)
Rice (C-USA at-large)
Utah (PAC-12 champion)

Lubbock Regional
Texas Tech (Big 12 champion)
Georgia Tech (ACC at-large)
Creighton (Big East champion)
Oral Roberts (Summit champion)

Columbia Regional
(5) South Carolina (SEC at-large)
Duke (ACC at-large)
Louisiana Tech (C-USA at-large)
Princeton (Ivy champion)

Clemson Regional
Clemson (ACC at-large)
Oklahoma State (Big 12 at-large)
Sam Houston State (Southland champion)
Wright State (Horizon champion)

Coral Gables Regional
(3) Miami-Florida (ACC champion)
Florida Atlantic (C-USA champion)
Michigan (Big Ten at-large)
Florida A&M (MEAC champion)

Baton Rouge Regional
LSU (SEC at-large)
Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt champion)
Northwestern State (Southland at-large)
Mercer (Southern champion)

Starkville Regional
(6) Mississippi State (SEC at-large)
Tulane (AAC champion)
Boston College (ACC at-large)
Kent State (MAC champion)

Tucson Regional
TCU (Big 12 at-large)
Arizona (PAC-12 at-large) *host*
BYU (WCC at-large)
New Mexico (MWC champion)

Gainesville Regional
(2) Florida (SEC champion)
Gonzaga (WCC champion)
Arizona State (PAC-12 at-large)
Alabama State (SWAC champion)

Charlottesville Regional
Virginia (ACC at-large)
East Carolina (AAC at-large)
Minnesota (Big Ten at-large)
Navy (Patriot champion)

Nashville Regional
(7) Vanderbilt (SEC at-large)
Wake Forest (ACC at-large)
Long Beach State (Big West champion)
Southeastern Missouri State (OVC champion)

Oxford Regional
Mississippi (SEC at-large)
Southern Mississippi (C-USA at-large)
South Alabama (Sun Belt at-large)
Hartford (America East champion)

Last Ten Teams In (reverse order):

Minnesota
BYU
Southeastern Louisiana
Washington
Cal State Fullerton
South Alabama
Northwestern State
Louisiana Tech
Michigan
Boston College

First Ten Teams Out:

California
Oregon State
Connecticut
Illinois
Kentucky
Maryland
Alabama
Ohio State
College of Charleston
Indiana State

Next Ten Teams Out:

Marshall
Lamar
St. Mary’s
Oklahoma
UNC Greensboro
Houston
Jacksonville
West Virginia
Old Dominion
Oregon

Teams by conference:

ACC (11)
SEC (7)
C-USA (4)
PAC-12 (4)
Big Ten (3)
Big 12 (3)
Big West (3)
Southland (3)
AAC (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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