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College Baseball Bubble Watch (May 24th, 2022)

The college baseball regular season is winding down, and we're less than a week away from Selection Monday.


There are 56 teams in contention for an at-large bid come Selection Monday. If there are no bid-stealers from conference tournaments, that leaves 43 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 (13 Conferences)


ACC (12)


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

Should be in (4): Florida State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, North Carolina

Work left to do (2): Clemson, NC State

Bubble about to burst (1): Pitt


Pitt plays Georgia Tech to open the ACC Tournament. Lose that game and Pittsburgh's season is all but done. Clemson and NC State will each want at least one win in Charlotte.



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. However, due to the ASUN's strange uneven scheduling, they both finished tied-3rd in the ASUN at 19-11. It's unlikely that both will find a path into the NCAA Tournament.


Big 12 (6)


Locks (5): Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma

Should be in (1): West Virginia


The Big 12 will almost certainly be a six-bid league. The biggest question that will be answered at the Big 12 Tournament in Arlington is which team(s) will host?



Big East (1)


Work left to do (1): UConn


After getting swept by Georgetown last weekend, UConn (RPI 51) is in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament should they lose the Big East Tournament. First up for the Huskies in the tournament? Georgetown.


Big Ten (3)


Locks (1): Maryland

Should be in (1): Rutgers

Work left to do (1): Iowa


The Big Ten currently checks in at eight in conference RPI, which sets the Big Ten up for two to three bids. Iowa was the last team in the tournament in our latest projection.


CUSA (5)


Locks (1): Southern Miss

Should be in (1): Louisiana Tech

Work left to do (3): UTSA, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee


By virtue of their second place finish in the regular season, Louisiana Tech is the most likely team to emerge from the pack in Conference USA. Anywhere from 2-5 teams from CUSA will end up in the NCAA Tournament.



Ivy League (1)


Bubble about to burst (1): Penn


Columbia locked up the automatic bid in the Ivy League by avenging their earlier loss to Penn. The Quakers (RPI 53) will hope that conference tournaments are very chalky if they are to have a chance at an at-large bid.


Missouri Valley (1)


Should be in (1): DBU


Even after a lackluster conference performance for DBU, their success in non-conference play (along with smart scheduling) has their RPI at 14. The should make the NCAA Tournament barring a disastrous MVC Tournament.



Pac-12 (5)


Locks (3): Stanford, Oregon State, Oregon

Should be in (2): Arizona, UCLA


UCLA finished third in the Pac-12 with 19 conference wins; however, their RPI of 50 is concerning. The Bruins and the Wildcats will want to make a run in the Pac-12's inaugural conference tournament.


SEC (12)


Locks (8): Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida, Vanderbilt

Work left to do (1): Ole Miss

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


13 SEC wins has historically been the minimum to make the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky, South Carolina, and Alabama come into the SEC Tournament either at or below that mark. Add the Rebels as another team that will to make a run in the SEC Tournament.


SoCon (2)


Should be in (1): Wofford

Bubble about to burst (1): Mercer


Wofford won the regular season SoCon title. Their RPI of 32 should have the Terriers feeling comfortable. Mercer is 4-6 in their last ten games and has seen their RPI drop to 52. If the season ended today, they'd miss the NCAA Tournament.


Sun Belt (4)


Locks (3): Georgia Southern, Texas State, Coastal Carolina

Work left to do (1): Louisiana


The top of the Sun Belt has finished the season on a tear. Georgia Southern, Texas State, and Coastal Carolina are a combined 26-4 in their last ten games. Louisiana (RPI 59) will need to win a few games in the Sun Belt Tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament.


West Coast (2)


Locks (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 55) has moved from a sure thing to a bubble team.



Likely 1-Bid Leagues (18 Conferences)

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

 

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