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College Baseball Bubble Watch (May 11th, 2022)

The college baseball regular season is winding down, and we're just a few weeks away from Selection Monday.


There are 67 teams in contention for an at-large bid come Selection Monday. If there are no bid-stealers from conference tournaments, that leaves 51 teams competing for 33 spots. In other words, the bubble is going to shrink a lot before the end of the year.


Many of the teams listed below will have a shot at an automatic bid. This list answers the question, "what happens if a team doesn't earn their conference's automatic bid?"


Here are the leagues with a chance at earning an at-large bid.



Leagues With Potential At-Large Teams (16 Conferences)


ACC (12)


Locks (5): Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame

Should be in (2): Florida State, NC State,

Work left to do (4): Wake Forest, Pitt, Georgia Tech, North Carolina

Bubble about to burst (1): Clemson


Clemson swept Georgia Tech over the weekend which kept the Tigers' postseason hopes alive. Their RPI of 25 and conference record of 9-14 will make for an interesting case study come selection Monday. The sweep knocked Georgia Tech to 12-15, which places the Yellow Jackets in danger of missing the tournament.


American (3)


Should be in (1): ECU

Bubble about to burst (2): Tulane, Houston


Tulane did itself no favors dropping a series at home to Cincinnati over the weekend. Their bubble will burst should they lose one or two more games. Meanwhile, ECU saw their RPI rise to 37 with a sweep at Memphis. The Pirates are in fairly good shape for an at-large bid as of now.



ASUN (2)


Work left to do (2): Liberty, Kennesaw State


Both Liberty and Kennesaw State have top 45 RPIs and have a clear shot at at-large bids, but neither can afford a series loss.


Big 12 (6)


Locks (1): Oklahoma State

Should be in (2): TCU, Texas

Work left to do (3): Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia


In the next couple of weeks, Texas Tech plays Oklahoma State and Oklahoma plays West Virginia. Those series will go a long way in deciding the pecking order in the Big 12. As of now, all six of these teams should feel okay about their odds at an at-large bid.



Big East (1)


Work left to do (1): UConn


UConn with its 39 RPI and 40-9 overall record will be under consideration come Selection Monday should they slip up in the Big East tournament.


Big Ten (4)


Locks (1): Maryland

Work left to do (3): Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa


The Big Ten currently checks in at nine in conference RPI, which sets the Big Ten up for two to three bids. Maryland won a series on the road at Rutgers to elevate their status to "lock." Rutgers is the clear second option as of now, as the Scarlet Knights are currently leading the Big Ten standings.


CUSA (5)


Locks (1): Southern Miss

Work left to do (4): Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee


After Old Dominion won a series on the road at Southern Miss, their odds of making the tournament skyrocketed. All four of Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Old Dominion, and Middle Tennessee have legitimate paths to the postseason, but only two or three of these four teams is likely to make it.



Ivy League (2)


Work left to do (1): Penn

Bubble about to burst (1): Columbia


It's a narrow window, but Penn (RPI 40) has a chance at an at-large bid should they not survive the Ivy League postseason. Columbia with their RPI of 53 would be considered, but because the Ivy's conference RPI ranks 17th, it's unlikely they'll be able to earn an at-large bid. Currently, the Ivy Championship Series is looking like it will be Penn at Columbia, which will give both teams a chance to boost their RPIs.


Missouri Valley (3)


Should be in (1): DBU

Bubble about to burst (2): Evansville, Southern Illinois


DBU is three games back in the Missouri Valley standings, but smart scheduling has led to an exceptional RPI (3). Should the Patriots not win the MVC Tournament, they'll likely still make it in the NCAA Tournament. Evansville (RPI 75) and Southern Illinois (80) will both have a shot at the automatic berth and an outside chance at an at-large bid.


Ohio Valley (2)


Work left to do (1): SEMO

Bubble about to burst (1): Belmont


SEMO (RPI 49) and Belmont (72) will have a chance at an at-large bid. Belmont has one game against Tennessee left on its schedule which will give them a huge RPI opportunity.



Pac-12 (5)


Locks (2): Oregon State, Oregon

Should be in (2): Stanford, Arizona

Work left to do (1): UCLA


UCLA was swept over the weekend by Washington, which devastated their RPI (66). A few more bad weekends and UCLA will move from a top ten team to out of the tournament all-together. Oregon State has yet to play Arizona and UCLA. These teams will earn an RPI boost from playing the Beavers. Utah was swept by Arizona State over the weekend, likely bursting their bubble.


SEC (13)


Locks (6): Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU

Should be in (1): Vanderbilt

Work left to do (3): Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss

Bubble about to burst (3): Kentucky, Mississippi State, South Carolina


13 SEC wins has historically been the minimum to make the NCAA Tournament; Florida did themselves a huge favor by sweeping Mississippi State to move to 11-13 in conference play. Mississippi State's now is in danger of missing both the NCAA Tournament and the SEC Tournament.



SoCon (2)


Should be in (2): Mercer, Wofford


Mercer was swept by Western Carolina over the weekend and fell 15 spots in the RPI to 32. Wofford (22) has a few low-RPI teams remaining on their schedule, but they each have enough RPI cushion to feel fairly comfortable about their at-large prospects.


Sun Belt (5)


Locks (1): Georgia Southern

Should be in (1): Texas State

Work left to do (2): Louisiana, Coastal Carolina

Bubble about to burst (1): South Alabama


The Sun Belt currently sits at No. 7 in conference RPI which predicts around three bids. Louisiana and Coastal Carolina currently have the best shot to join Texas State and Georgia Southern.


West Coast (2)


Should be in (1): Gonzaga

Work left to do (1): San Diego


Once the fifth-place RPI conference, the West Coast Conference has slipped to No. 10. San Diego (RPI 45) has moved from a sure thing to a bubble team.



Likely 1-Bid Leagues (15 Conferences)

A10, America East, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Summit League, Patriot League, Southland, and SWAC.

 

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