We’re just a few weeks away from Selection Monday, and as you might expect, teams across the country are jockeying for position.
Don’t see your team as a top eight or top 16 seed? Don’t fret just yet. Things can change on a whim, as you’ll notice in this week’s batch of our Field of 64 postseason projections.
There are plenty of changes to report in this week’s projections:
The race for one of those coveted top eight national seeds continues to be tight with two new changes occurring in this week’s projections: Notre Dame and Texas A&M are out, and Louisville and Arkansas are in as top eight seeds.
Arkansas enters the top eight again after a one-week hiatus after taking a road series from Auburn last weekend. The Hogs now have a two-game lead over Texas A&M, and a three-game lead over Auburn, in the SEC West, and chances are good at this point they will win the SEC West. That puts them in terrific shape for a top eight seed. Despite the head-to-head series loss to the Hogs, Auburn is still in the top eight — albeit now sitting at 8, just ahead of 9 Texas A&M. The Tigers have a higher RPI than the Aggies, and don’t forget, have a road head-to-head series over the Aggies. The Aggies do have a one-game edge in the division standings, but the higher RPI and head-to-head trumps that for now. As for Louisville, the Cardinals are up to 12 in the RPI with a quality 8-4-1 record vs. RPI Top 25 teams. Furthermore, UL leads its division with a one-game lead over Notre Dame, and also has a series sweep of the Fighting Irish.
In terms of other new hosts in the Top 16, Georgia and Oregon are out after series losses to Vanderbilt and Oregon State, respectively, while Maryland and Stanford entered this week. The Terps continue to be the headliner in the Big Ten and are up to 14 in the latest RPI with a terrific 38-10 overall record. As long as the Terps are within striking distance of the Top 16, we think they will host. We’ve also confirmed the Terps will attempt to host at home, which will require some mobilization to make it regional worthy. Stanford is up to 24 in the RPI, so within striking distance. The Cardinal is a clear-cut second place in the Pac-12 right now and has a favorable schedule to end the regular season. Stanford should have a strong league record to go with a quality RPI. It also satisfies another West Coast host spot. Keep an eye on Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt and Florida State as other potential hosts.
As for the field as a whole, there are just two new overall field changes: Pittsburgh and Kennesaw State are out of the field this week, while Coastal Carolina and North Carolina entered the field. The Chanticleers are red-hot in the Sun Belt and continue to gain serious ground, while the Tar Heels have a terrific RPI to go with a league record that is in striking distance of where you want it to be. Pitt is in a precarious situation sitting at 62 in the RPI, but the eight wins vs. RPI Top 25 teams is still loud. As for Kennesaw, it dropped a series to FGCU last week and plummeted 11 spots to 45.
Here are the latest projections, assembled by Kendall Rogers, Aaron Fitt and Mark Etheridge.
|LAST FOUR IN:|
|FIRST FOUR OUT:|
|1 Tennessee* (1)||1 Gonzaga* (16)|
|4 Delaware State*||4 Wright State*|
|2 Texas Tech||2 Oregon|
|3 Pennsylvania*||3 North Carolina|
|1 Oregon State* (2)||1 Stanford (15)|
|4 North Dakota State*||4 UNLV*|
|2 Grand Canyon*||2 UC Santa Barbara*|
|3 Wake Forest||3 San Diego|
|1 Oklahoma State* (3)||1 Southern Miss* (14)|
|4 Army*||4 Fairfield*|
|2 Texas State*||2 Florida|
|3 Arizona||3 Georgia Tech|
|1 Virginia Tech (4)||1 Virginia (13)|
|4 Central Conn. State*||4 Davidson*|
|2 Wofford*||2 Connecticut*|
|3 West Virginia||3 East Carolina*|
|CORAL GABLES||COLLEGE PARK|
|1 Miami* (5)||1 Maryland* (12)|
|4 Florida A&M*||4 Campbell*|
|2 Georgia Southern||2 Georgia|
|3 Rutgers||3 Liberty*|
|1 Arkansas (6)||1 LSU (11)|
|4 SE Missouri State*||4 McNeese*|
|2 Texas||2 Dallas Baptist|
|3 Louisiana Tech||3 NC State|
|1 Louisville (7)||1 Notre Dame (10)|
|4 Ball State*||4 Evansville*|
|2 Vanderbilt||2 Oklahoma|
|3 Coastal Carolina||3 UCLA|
|1 Auburn (8)||1 Texas A&M (9)|
|4 College of Charleston*||4 Maine*|
|2 Florida State||2 TCU|
|3 Mercer||3 Louisiana|