College Baseball Bubble Watch (May 27th, 2022)

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


There are 54 teams in contention for an at-large bid come Selection Monday. If there are no bid-stealers from conference tournaments, that leaves 41 teams competing for 34 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 (6): Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina

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

Bubble about to burst (2): Pitt, Clemson


NC State and North Carolina have greatly improved their postseason standings. The ACC may max out at ten teams in the NCAA Tournament, but could go as high as 12 if Pitt and Clemson make it in. Pitt is in the ACC semifinal. Meanwhile, Clemson went 2&Q in the ACC Tournament and will be sweating it out on Selection Monday.



ASUN (2)


Work left to do (1): Liberty

Bubble about to burst (1): Kennesaw State


Due to the ASUN's strange uneven scheduling, Liberty and Kennesaw State finished tied-3rd in the ASUN at 19-11. Two losses by Kennesaw State at the ASUN Tournament, and the Owls are in desperate need of wins. Kennesaw State advanced to the semifinals via a strange pool play format, so they will have another shot at earning an RPI-boosting win.


Big 12 (6)


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

Should be in (1): West Virginia


The Big 12 will likely 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? Texas improved their odds with a win over Oklahoma State followed up by a win against TCU. West Virginia has seen their RPI drop ten spots to 45, so Selection Monday won't be a comfortable experience for the Mountaineers.



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. UConn avenged their series loss to Georgetown with a first-round win over the Hoyas.


Big Ten (3)


Locks (1): Maryland

Should be in (1): Rutgers

Bubble about to burst (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 greatly hurt their causes by losing to Penn State to open the Big Ten Tournament. A second-round win against Purdue ended Purdue's season and gives Iowa a chance to earn an at-large bid.


CUSA (4)


Locks (1): Southern Miss

Should be in (1): Louisiana Tech

Work left to do (2): UTSA, Old Dominion


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 2-4 teams from CUSA will end up in the NCAA Tournament. Middle Tennessee's postseason chances ended with a 2&Q performance at the CUSA 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)


Lock (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 will make the NCAA 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 51 is concerning. The Bruins and the Wildcats will want to make a run in the Pac-12's inaugural conference tournament. UCLA and Arizona are both 1-1 so far in Scottsdale.


SEC (11)


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

Bubble about to burst (3): Alabama, Ole Miss, Kentucky


13 SEC wins has historically been the minimum to make the NCAA Tournament. Alabama came into the SEC Tournament below that mark. A first-round win over Georgia and a second-round win over Arkansas has the Tide in better shape, but they'll still need wins to have a chance at an at-large bid. The day one loss by Ole Miss to Vanderbilt has the Rebels in a precarious position. Kentucky knocked off Auburn to keep their season alive, but a loss to LSU has Kentucky on the verge of elimination.


SoCon (2)


Should be in (1): Wofford

Bubble about to burst (1): Mercer


Wofford won the regular season SoCon title. Their RPI of 31 should have the Terriers feeling comfortable. Mercer is 4-6 in their last ten games and has seen their RPI drop to 53. If the season ended today, they'd likely 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 57) will need to win a few games in the Sun Belt Tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Belt Tournament has moved to single elimination due to rain.


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 54) has moved from a sure thing to a bubble team. Two wins in the WCC Tournament have improved San Diego's odds.



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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