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April 17th, 2019

Weekend Ten preview

Easter is on Sunday, so baseball starts early this weekend! With most major series kicking off on Thursday, we're getting you up to speed on what to watch.

SEC Battles

#2 Mississippi State at #11 Arkansas is our game of the week, as two of the nation's best teams go at it in one of the best venues in the country. At 10-5 and 9-6 in conference, respectively, these two SEC West teams will be battling for precious conference wins. The Bulldogs have won five of their last six conference games and look to maintain their front runner position in the West, while the Razorbacks are coming off a series loss to Vanderbilt.

Courtesy of Arkansas Athletics

Elsewhere in the SEC, #30 Missouri travels to #5 Georgia. Missouri is currently banned from the postseason due to academic violations, but the school is appealing the ruling and the team is eligible while the appeal is ongoing. Despite the off field drama, the Tiger's RPI is up to 23 and their conference record is 7-7-1. Meanwhile, Georgia is currently atop the SEC East standings at 10-5 and is in good position to host a Regional and potentially a Super Regional. The Bulldogs are coming off a wild, 3-2, win in 20 innings over #21 Clemson on Tuesday night. They'll only have a day to recover before Missouri comes to town.

Trending Up

Both the Hurricanes and the Cardinals are hitting their strides as #27 Miami visits #7 Louisville this weekend. Miami is 8-1 over their last nine games, including a sweep at Virginia. The Hurricanes have only given up 3.1 runs per game over this stretch. Lousiville swept #10 NC State last weekend and is back in first place in the ACC. Both of these teams will be looking to keep their momentum.

American Dream

The best mid-major match up this weekend is #28 Connecticut at #13 East Carolina. The Huskies are currently a lock for the NCAA Tournament with an RPI of 28, but a few losses could have them slip down to the bubble. A win or two over East Carolina would help solidify their tournament bid. East Carolina is coming off three straight losses to #1 UCLA on the road. Despite the sweep, the Pirates were competitive in all three games. East Carolina will be looking for a bounce back series this weekend.

Who's Will Win the Big XII?

Right now, your guess is as good as ours as to who will win the Big XII. Baylor is in first at 8-3, followed by Oklahoma State at 7-5, but Texas Tech (6-6) and Texas (5-6) have the talent to compete for a conference title. #19 Baylor at #18 Texas Tech could go a long way in determing whether Texas Tech is a legitimate contender this season. Behind reigning coach of the year, Tim Tadlock, the Red Raiders look to make a statement with a series win over Baylor. #22 Texas at Oklahoma State will also provide some clarity into the Big XII race. Both teams are coming off bewildering series losses to Kansas schools. The Cowboys lost two straight games at Kansas after winning Game One, 27-6, and the Longhorns lost two out of three to Kansas State at home. Both teams are in need of a conference series win.

Bruins' World

After almost two thirds of our way through the season, UCLA is the team to beat. They will face in-state rival, Cal, this weekend as Cal travels to #1 UCLA. With an RPI of 60 and a conference record of 7-5, Cal is firmly on the bubble and would love a marquee win. UCLA looks to gain bragging rights and add to their already impressive list of series wins that includes #3 Stanford, #4 Oregon State, #13 East Carolina, and #16 Georgia Tech.

For more on Week Nine Rankings, check out our Composite Top 25 and the Conference Power Rankings. And be sure to follow us on Twitter!