How are your nerves? Bad? Good. They should be. In a mere matter of hours, LSU will begin their three game set in Starkville with everything to play for. I can’t stress how big of a series this will be. Well I can, but not yet. First, some housekeeping:
This is (probably) the last round of projections for this year. We’ll see if I have enough time on Sunday to put something together before the SEC Tournament starts, but don’t bank on it. So, with that said here are the last regular season projections of the year. Thank you for reading and allowing me to indulge myself like I do here.
The National Seeds
Oregon State, North Carolina, Louisville, Texas Tech, Florida, Kentucky, TCU, Wake Forest
Oregon State (42-4) clinched the PAC-12 with a sweep of Oregon in the Civil War, because the PAC-12 are either a bunch of dirty hippies that don’t “believe” in conference tournaments or cant afford it because rent is too high.
North Carolina (42-10) and Louisville (46-7) kept pace with a series win over Virginia Tech and a sweep of Clemson. Louisville’s sweep of Clemson is slightly more impressive, but not really enough for me to put them over the Tar Heels. However, if the Cardinals can sweep Florida State while the Tar Heels struggle with Duke, that could be grounds for a swap. Meanwhile Wake Forest took a series from Florida State and took advantage of Louisville’s sweep of Clemson to sneak into the Top 8 just ahead of LSU. They play Pitt before the tournament, so they should be good to go at least to my scientific formula.
Texas Tech (39-13) also held firm with a series victory over West Virginia but TCU (37-13) dropped a series to Oklahoma, which caused a tumble in the national seed ranking. If the Horned Frogs aren’t careful and drop their series against Cal, that could mean an opening for the last national seed...
Florida (38-14) swept Alabama and Kentucky (37-16) swept Tennessee which sets up a winner-take-all meeting in the East to match the one in the West. The only difference is that barring one team going ice cold, both teams should be locked into a national seed.
LSU, Virginia, Clemson, Arizona, Stanford, Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma
The goal for LSU (35-17) is simple: win and you’re in. A series win at Mississippi State to win the SEC West (and possibly the SEC regular season crown outright) should be enough to push LSU ahead of TCU, especially if they drop the series to Cal or fail to impress at the Big 12 Tournament. That’s a task easier said than done, but this is crunch time and while winning championships isn’t easy, it’s expected at LSU and it’s been a hot minute since they’ve last done it. The pressure is on, will the Tigers live up to it?
Virginia (39-12) is breathing right down LSU’s neck as the Cavaliers just keep winning since their dropped series to Louisville to start April. With Georgia Tech left on the docket, it seem as though they will continue to win.
Clemson (38-15) got swept out of a national seed slot by Louisville, but can make up some ground against NC State, though probably not enough in my eyes to justify a return. They’ll have to make a deep run in the tournament in order to get back in, which I am not ruling out.
Arizona (33-17) took two of three from College of Charleston and finish against Arizona State and Cal, which won’t be very impressive no matter what happens. Their conference mate Stanford (34-14) took two of three from Cal and finish against Washington and Washington State, which also don’t impress me much either.
Arkansas got a pretty feather in their cap with a series win against Vanderbilt and can add another this weekend against Texas A&M, but I’m afraid that won’t be enough to move them up in the pecking order, just secures them from falling out .
Two Big 12 schools moved into the hosting spots: Oklahoma (34-18) and Baylor (33-17). The Sooners beat TCU in a tightly fought series to pull the Horned Frogs down while vaulting the Sooners into a one seed. There’s a very strong chance that Oklahoma gives LSU the break they need to get into the top eight. They have a large series with their arch rivals Oklahoma State, who just got swept by Baylor. The Bears finish with Kansas State.
The Rest Of The Field
For now, the Baton Rouge Regional is pretty cut and dry: a VERY dangerous Southern Miss visiting as a two seed, familiar worth opponent Southeastern making the short drive down I-12, and SWAC projected champion Jackson State.
Texas A&M is still sent to the Fort Worth Regional, because I can’t help myself.
The last two teams to make the field were defending champions Coastal Carolina and Louisiana, which explains why they got sent out to the west coast.
The Louisville Regional is the smarmiest regional I have ever put together.
The Regional Of Death Of The Week goes to Clemson, who has to play their snakebitten rivals South Carolina who honestly can’t possibly keep their bad luck forever. And then there is South Alabama as a three side, and we all know just how feisty the Jaguars are. Good luck, Bethune-Cookman.
Again, this may be the last time this runs on ATVS, so let me say thank you one more time for reading and putting up with my rambles for the last three years. It’s been a blast.
This is your Chief Projectionist Adam Henderson signing off.