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5/20 Bubble Watch
We are heading into conference tournament week, and here is our May 20th update of the postseason outlook!
Locks: Louisville, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, NC State
Should be In: Florida State
Work left to do: Clemson, Duke
Still alive: Virginia, Wake Forest
Florida State will be a lock if they win one game in the ACC Tournament. Even if they don't, the Seminoles should have a good shot at making a Regional. Clemson and Duke may need to win one more ACC game each to feel comfortable about their Regional odds. Virginia and Wake Forest are both two games under .500 in conference and will likely need an ACC Tournament run to making the NCAA Tournament.
Locks: East Carolina
Work left to do: Connecticut, Houston
Still alive: UCF
Connecticut and Houston are both at .500 in American play and would be locks with two wins in the American Conference Tournament. At 11-13 in conference but holding on to an RPI of 44, UCF has a shot at a Regional if they make a conference tournament run. East Carolina is hoping an American run will lock up a top-eight seed for them.
Work left to do: Creighton
Creighton is the only Big East team with a shot at an at-large right now. Should they fail to win the Big East tournament, there are good odds they still make a Regional.
Locks: Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska
Should be in: Michigan
Nebraska locked up their bid with series wins over Arizona State and Michigan in their last two weekends. Michigan continues to slip down the RPI, down to 48. Should they fail to win a game in the Big Ten Tournament, they may be a little worried on Selection Monday.
Still alive: UC Irvine
UC Irvine finishes the season with a midweek game against USC and a three game series at UC Riverside, a team outside the top 200 in the RPI. UC Irvine may have to win all four games to make a Regional as the Big West does not have a conference tournament.
Locks: Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State, West Virginia
Still alive: Oklahoma, Kansas
TCU saw their at-large hopes fade with a series loss at Texas Tech. They will need to win the Big XII Tournament to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma maintains a strong RPI, but at two games under .500 in the Big XII, they will need to win at least a game or two in the conference tournament to secure their bid. With a sweep over Kansas State, Kansas has managed to work their way onto the fringe of the bubble. At 12-12 in Big XII play and with an RPI of 60, the Jayhawks could possibly earn a Regional berth with a deep run in the conference tournament.
Locks: Florida Atlantic
Work left to do: Southern Miss
Still alive: Louisiana Tech
Florida Atlantic will almost certainly make the NCAA Tournament. Finishing the season with a sweep of Middle Tennessee moved their conference record to an impressive 22-8. Southern Miss hurt their cause by losing a series to UAB at home. They will need to win two or three games in the Conference USA Tournament to feel safe. Louisiana Tech improved their chances with a series win at Florida International, but they will need to win a few games in the conference tournament to make a Regional.
Locks: Dallas Baptist
Should be in: Indiana State, Illinois State
Dallas Baptist's top 25 RPI ensures that even if they were to lose both of their Missouri Valley Conference Tournament games, they should comfortably make a Regional. Indiana State and Illinois State are both in the top 35 in the RPI but would feel more secure about their NCAA Tournament odds with a few more conference wins.
Should be in: Fresno State
San Diego State saw their bubble burst with a home series loss to New Mexico. They will need a conference tournament championship to make a Regional. Fresno State should be in no matter what. They are 20-8-1 in the Mountain West and have a top 40 RPI. A win or two in the Mountain West Conference Tournament would lock up their postseason berth.
Locks: UCLA, Oregon State, Stanford
Should be in: California, Arizona State
Still alive: Washington, Arizona
A series split was a good enough result for both Cal and Arizona State to nearly lock up their postseason berths. With both teams in the top 35 in the RPI, they are fairly comfortable heading into the last weekend of Pac-12 play. Washington at 12-15 will need to sweep Cal to get to .500 in conference which is essential for them to make a Regional. Arizona has snuck onto the bubble; their RPI shot up 22 spots this weekend to 45. A sweep of Washington State next weekend would move them to 15-14 in conference and firmly on the bubble.
Locks: Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU, Texas A&M
Should be in: Auburn, Tennessee
Still alive: Missouri, Florida
Florida is back on the bubble after sweeping Missouri. They brought the Tigers down to the bubble themselves, and both teams will be looking for wins in Hoover to secure a Regional berth. At 14-16 in SEC play, Auburn and Tennessee are in reasonable position to make a Regional. Both teams would not mind winning a few more SEC games to increase their Regional odds. Texas A&M moves up to a lock this week after taking their series with Arkansas.
Work left to do: Texas State
The Sun Belt is likely a one-bid league, but Texas State could still earn an at-large spot with their top 50 RPI. If they were to win a few games in the Sun Belt Tournament but not win the championship, they may still make a Regional.
Work left to do: BYU
Even though they won their series against Santa Clara, BYU saw their RPI slip outside the top 40. Similar to Texas State, if they were to win a few games in the conference tournament but not come out with a championship, they would have a solid resumé.
Some of these leagues have an outside shot of sending two teams to a Regional, but for the most part, the winner of the conference tournament will be the league's representative. Here are the likely tournament winners:
American East: Stony Brook
Atlantic 10: VCU
Atlantic Sun: Liberty
Big South: Campbell
Horizon: Wright State
Ivy: Harvard (bid clinched)
MAC: Central Michigan
MEAC: Florida A&M (bid clinched)
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay
Patriot: Army (bid clinched)
Southland: Sam Houston State
SWAC: Southern (bid clinched)
WAC: New Mexico State
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