As May marches on, the NCAA baseball picture continues to come into focus. Even from last week to this week, fans can now flex a bit more certainty when looking toward Omaha.
And by the way…that Garrett Wittels guy (the one with the hitting streak) that was mentioned last week? He’s pretty good.
Locks for a national seed
Team: Arizona State
Record/Conference Record: 45-7 / 16-6
What’s ahead – ASU won their series against Oregon State and now must close the regular season by tripping to Stanford. The Pac 10 title is still up for grabs.
Record/Conference Record: 46-8 / 24-3
What’s ahead – Another conference series sweep for Texas – the Missouri Tigers are the latest victims. Next up is pool play in the Big 12 tournament. “Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben and there’s Parliament.”
Record/Conference Record: 45-10 / 23-7
What’s ahead – UVA clinched the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament with a series win over Miami (FL).
Record/Conference Record: 40-13 / 22-8
What’s ahead – The Gators clinched the regular season SEC crown with a series win over South Carolina. The win also vaults them above the line into the “clinched a national seed” grouping.
Comment: There are four teams locked in for a national seed and six others competing for the remaining four spots. UCLA, Georgia Tech and South Carolina are all the second-best teams in their respective conferences, and will all compete in conference tournaments, but against each other, for seeding.
Louisville, TCU and Coastal Carolina are the interested bystanders in this pileup. How many “small schools” will the committee seed? It may depend on what happens in the major conference tournaments. To be safe, all three of these schools need to win their respective tournaments and cheer against UCLA, Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
In contention for a national seed
Record/Conference Record: 41-11 / 16-8
Record/Conference Record: 46-10 / 21-6
Team: Coastal Carolina
Record/Conference Record: 47-7 / 25-0
Team: Georgia Tech
Record/Conference Record: 44-11 / 21-9
Team: South Carolina
Record/Conference Record: 43-13 / 21-9
Record/Conference Record: 43-11 / 19-5
In contention for a Regional host site
Team: Miami (FL)
Record/Conference Record: 39-15 / 20-10
Trend: The Canes dropped a weekend series to UVA. No shame in that, but now their first game in the ACC tourney (against FSU) is looking like an elimination game for a Regional host.
Team: CS – Fullerton
Record/Conference Record: 37-15 / 18-3
Trend: The Titans started the season with a dismal 7-9 record. Since then, CSF is 30-6 and is playing like one of the better teams in the country.
Record/Conference Record: 40-15 / 16-12
Trend: Lost a critical series to Arkansas at home, preventing them from solidifying their spot as a Regional host.
Record/Conference Record: 40-16 / 18-12
Trend: The Hogs were heading in the wrong direction, but corrected things in a major way with a road series win over Vandy.
Team: Florida State
Record/Conference Record: 39-16 / 18-12
Trend: FSU was swept at Clemson to finish the regular season. They are now in a must-win position, facing Miami in their opening game of the ACC tournament.
Record/Conference Record: 39-17 / 20-10
Trend: The Tigers just swept Ole Miss in Oxford to close the regular season. At some point I need to shed their “Overachiever” label, and just recognize that they are a solid club.
Record/Conference Record: 42-14 / 15-10
Trend: OU vaults onto this list courtesy of a season-ending sweep of KU. A strong showing in the conference tournament and eclipsing the 40-win mark would be hard for the committee to ignore.
Comment: Intrigue! Don’t forget that the two teams above that are not awarded a national seed will bump any of these teams off this list. Realistically, that means that these seven teams are competing for six spots.
(photo credit: korkedbats.com)