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And The Valley Projects: March 23rd

It’s late because I watched Get Out and Logan instead of writing this. I regret nothing.

Literally me trying to do projections all week before actually doing them at the last moment.

After one weekend of SEC conference play, some major shakeups take hold in the second wave of projection. With the exception of the top three national seeds, nearly everybody changed places and created some pretty interesting developments. Take a look for yourself:

Watson Tiger Excel Productions, LLC.

The National Seeds

Oregon State, Louisville, Texas Tech, TCU, LSU, Arizona, Cal State Fullerton, South Carolina

The top six national seeds all remain, but some shuffling has occurred due to circumstances we’ll touch on later. Basically as long as these schools stay on their best behavior they’ll keep their spots for the next few weeks.

Something to look for is the series between Oregon State and Arizona this weekend. I probably wouldn’t drop either team down too far for dropping some close games on the weekend, but a convincing sweep from Arizona could lead to some major changes.

TCU, LSU, and Cal State Fullerton all play two seeds in Oklahoma State, Florida, and Long Beach State this weekend. The Cowboys and the Dirtbags have been solid bubble teams looking to improve their stock, and the Gators have experienced a drastic fall from national seed to two seed after their sweep against Auburn. So Kevin O’Sullivan’s team will have a lot to prove against LSU, who is now without half of their veteran bullpen arms.

Thanks to some dropouts from the top eight, South Carolina was able to barely skirt past rivals Clemson for the last national seed slot, only by the most razor thin of decisions.

Louisville just suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Cincinnati, but one loss is still incredibly impressive.

The Hosts

Michigan, St. Johns, Ole Miss, Clemson, Louisiana, Missouri, Stanford, North Carolina

Ok, I’ll admit that I was an idiot here: I assumed St. John’s does not have a stadium capable of hosting a regional so I made them a one seed (as they deserve) and made Florida State hosts for their regional. They do have a stadium that can host. So disregard that one line of text in the chart. The Seminoles join rivals Florida in dropping down from top eight to a bubble team as a testament of how volatile the first few weeks of this project are.

Michigan claims the Big Ten’s obligatory host spot, and Missouri’s 20 game win streak to start the season can no longer be ignored. By the time this post runs they’ll be play their first game against Arkansas, who just barely missed the cut for the tournament field.

Stanford took the week off for finals (quarter system) so I really have no choice but to hold them firm where they are. North Carolina stays and so does Ole Miss, who has already taken the first game from surging Kentucky.

UL-Lafayette fell to Houston and Tulane in the midweeks, so they’ll need a very convincing sweep against Troy to hold onto their spot in the back eight.

The Rest Of The Field

Florida and Florida State are proof of how slippery the slope is right now, but they can easily earn their way back into the hosting field with a series victory against LSU and Notre Dame, with the Gators possible jumping back into hosting if they sweep LSU convincingly.

Kentucky’s sweep of Texas A&M puts them into the field and also drops the Aggies down out of the hosting party. Despite the hammering against LSU, I still hold on to Southeastern Louisiana as a two seed and see the Southland and as two bid league with McNeese State stealing an at-large.

Oklahoma dropped a midweek against rivals Oklahoma State but at 21-3 they’re as impressive as anybody and a series win against Baylor can inch them closer to a regional host invitation.

The Regional Of Death Of The Week

The Clemson Regional, by a good bit. There are two teams that have solid bids as national seeds and an underproven UCF team that is 1-3 against UF and FSU in midweeks. Sorry bout it, Morehead State.

For the second week in a row, I’m sorry this came so late. I say I’ll try to do better, but I end up saying that a lot.

Yeah I know wow, way to get dark before signing off right? It’s what I do best.

Peace be the journey, and as always: