College Baseball Bubble Watch (May 26th, 2022)

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


There are 55 teams in contention for an at-large bid come Selection Monday. If there are no bid-stealers from conference tournaments, that leaves 42 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 a run. Next up for Clemson is a must-win game against Virginia Tech (which will be their last game in Charlotte). Pitt is in the ACC semifinal.



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, the Owls are in desperate need of wins. They'll have one more shot to advance to the semifinals with game three of pool play.


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? Texas improved their odds with a win over Oklahoma State.



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. Day one of the Big Ten Tournament was postponed due to rain.


CUSA (5)


Locks (1): Southern Miss

Should be in (1): Louisiana Tech

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

Bubble about to burst (1): 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. Next up for Middle Tennessee is a must-win elimination game against Charlotte.



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 52 is concerning. The Bruins and the Wildcats will want to make a run in the Pac-12's inaugural conference tournament. UCLA started off with a loss to Cal, while Arizona knocked off Oregon.


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.


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 50. 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 59) 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. A round one win in the WCC Tournament has 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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