Updated: May 27
Although COVID-19 took away the actual postseason in college baseball, we have made our best attempt at crafting a field of 64. Without the benefit of conference tournaments to dictate the auto-bids, we spent spent hours debating who would emerge victorious from each of the 31 conferences. Here's what we came up with:
Ole Miss, our projected SEC winner, earned the number one overall seed with Florida, on their heels as the second seed. Texas Tech (Big 12), Louisville (ACC), and UCLA (Pac-12) start a string of three straight projected conference champions to fill the three, four, and five seeds. The top eight seeds round out with defending National Champions, Vanderbilt, followed by Duke and Miami.
UCF and UCSB, projected winners of the American and Big West respectively, also earned hosting rights. LBSU, TCU, and NC State were all in the conversation for hosting but ultimately just missed the cut.
The SEC led the way with six hosts, followed by the ACC (four), Big 12 and Pac-12 (two), and American and Big West with one each.
The SEC also earned the most tournament bids (ten). Next are the ACC (eight), Big 12 (six), Big Ten and Pac-12 (four), American (three), and the Sun Belt, West Coast Conference, Conference USA, and Big West each with two. All of the other 21 conferences only earned their automatic bid.
Notre Dame was our first team out of the tournament. The Fighting Irish finished the season with a road sweep of North Carolina, but ultimately, we interpreted this result as more of a reflection of a down year for the Tar Heels than a banner year for the Irish. We expect good things in South Bend in the coming years, though.
Alabama was excluded from the tournament despite their 16-1 record. The Tide were hurt by a combination of the weakness of their schedule and the strength of the SEC West. We project that Alabama would not have won enough SEC games in a full season to earn an at-large bid.
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