Projected Field of 64 (4/10/19)
Baseball America presents our latest Projected Field of 64, as we will weekly for the remainder of the season.
The season has reached its midpoint and while many metrics are becoming instructive, there is still a lot of projection required when composing the field. Several teams included either as at-large bids or hosts will need to improve their RPI over the next two months to get it into a range typical for those spots. Among at-large teams, Florida Atlantic and Florida State have the most work to do, while Arizona State and North Carolina State do among the hosts.
The hosting race will heat up this weekend with a few very impactful series. Chiefly, UC Irvine travels to UC Santa Barbara for a series that may well be a Big West Conference title fight. In addition to chasing a league title, both teams have hosting aspirations. UCI has significant RPI work to do and needs to start making up that ground this weekend. UCSB already ranks in the top 10 in RPI but adding a conference title and a marquee series win to its resume would be a boost. In either case, this weekend’s winner will move ahead on the hosting pecking order, but still will have work to do, especially to avoid any slipups in the second half.
The ACC’s own hosting pecking order got some clarity last weekend with Clemson and Georgia Tech winning key series against Louisville and North Carolina, respectively. Both the Tigers and Yellow Jackets move up to the host line in this update. Louisville and UNC remain in the mix but will likely need to find a way to pass their counterparts in the standings.
While the ACC is starting to sort itself out, the SEC remains jumbled, especially in the West Division. The conference gets six hosts here, and that number could easily have been more. But only once has one conference had more than six hosts, and the SEC West’s strength guarantees that those teams will beat up on each other throughout the spring.
The SEC is also holding steady at 10 bids in this week’s update, which would tie the record for one conference. The selection committee last year placed a heavy emphasis on finishing with at least a .500 conference record and it seems likely that will again be the case. That means Florida and Tennessee (both 4-8) have some significant work to do in the second half. Missouri (5-6-1) is just outside the field with little margin for error. Alabama’s (4-8) sweep of South Carolina (3-9) was a significant result, as it kept the Crimson Tide in the mix and made the Gamecocks' that much tougher.
The Missouri Valley Conference had an eventful weekend, which has the bubble shifting slightly. Evansville won a series against Dallas Baptist, strengthening the Aces’ case. Indiana State, meanwhile, lost a series at Michigan State and saw its RPI drop outside the top 40. All three teams remain firmly in the at-large race, with Illinois State still hanging around the periphery, but none have a large margin for error. Meanwhile, perennial power Missouri State (11-20) is heating up and has opened conference play with a pair of series wins and could well play spoiler for any of its conference rivals.
Baseball America will continue to update the projected field weekly throughout the season.
To see last week’s projection, click here.
|PROJECTED FIELD OF 64|
|1. (1) UCLA^*||1. (16) Clemson^|
|2. Oklahoma||2. Ole Miss|
|3. Bryant*||3. Nebraska|
|4. Coppin State*||4. Campbell|
|Athens, Ga.||Atlanta, Ga.|
|1. (2) Georgia^*||1. (15) Georgia Tech^|
|2. Indiana||2. Auburn|
|3. Florida Atlantic||3. Illinois|
|4. Alabama State||4. Samford*|
|Stanford, Calif.||Greenville, NC|
|1. (3) Stanford^||1. (14) East Carolina^*|
|2. Connecticut||2. North Carolina|
|3. West Virginia||3. Tennessee|
|4. Canisius*||4. Liberty*|
|Raleigh, N.C.||College Station, Tx.|
|1. (4) North Carolina State^*||1. (13) Texas A&M^|
|2. Coastal Carolina*||2. Texas Christian|
|3. Virginia Commonwealth*||3. Washington|
|4. Navy*||4. Harvard*|
|Nashville, Tn.||Phoenix, Az.|
|1. (5) Vanderbilt^||1. (12) Arizona State^|
|2. Michigan*||2. UC Irvine*|
|3. Evansville||3. Brigham Young*|
|4. Morehead State*||4. San Diego State*|
|Starkville, Miss.||Lubbock, Tx.|
|1. (6) Mississippi State^||1. (11) Texas Tech^|
|2. Southern Mississippi*||2. UC Santa Barbara|
|3. Florida State||3. Sam Houston State*|
|4. Central Michigan*||4. New Mexico State*|
|Corvallis, Ore.||Baton Rouge, La.|
|1. (7) Oregon State^||1. (10) Louisiana State^|
|2. Florida||2. Baylor|
|3. St. John's*||3. Miami|
|4. Elon*||4. Stony Brook*|
|Fayetteville, Ark.||Austin, Tx.|
|1. (8) Arkansas^||1. (9) Texas^*|
|2. Oklahoma State||2. Louisville|
|3. Oregon||3. Dallas Baptist*|
|4. Nebraska-Omaha*||4. Wright State*|
2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament Friday Regionals Scores, Results, Analysis, TV & more
Baseball America's home for scores and analysis from the opening day of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
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