Hello friends, apologies for leaving you for so long. But the important thing is that I’m back and we can enjoy our remaining time together.
However, in my absence, shit has pivoted. Let’s take a look at the field and see exactly how much of the house we have built has burned down in my time away.
The National Seeds
Oregon State, North Carolina, Louisville, Texas Tech, TCU, Florida, Clemson, Kentucky
Oregon State (38-4) has only lost four games all season. Most teams have lost four games in a week this season at some point. That is obscene. Yeah, they’re still the class of the country right now. Oddly enough, while the Beavers are 10-0 against RPI Top 50 competition, three of their losses came from middle of the pack bubble teams.
North Carolina (37-9) hasn’t been as flashy as Oregon State has but they’ve been almost as consistent, weathering the storm of the regular season better than any team east of the Mississippi. Their high SOS all but locks them into a national seed status at this point. Shadowing the Tar Heels in the ACC are Louisville (46-2). The Birds With Teeth have won 11 straight but have to bear down to end the regular season on a high note: Vanderbilt, three games at Clemson, at Indiana, and hosting Florida State, all of which are tournament teams. Clemson (35-12) bounced back from their sweep at the hands of North Carolina by taking the series from Nevada, but as a whole are very much a national seed bubble team. This weekend’s three game set against Louisville can seal their fate either way. Oh, and then they play defending champions Coastal Carolina. That’s fun.
Texas Tech (39-13) responded to a series loss to Oklahoma State by beating TCU 21-3 in Game 3 to take that series, got a road win at AN Ohio State, and taking a series against West Virginia. They’re off this week for finals before playing Kansas to end the regular season. For all intents and purposes, they’re in. Speaking of TCU (35-11), the Horned Frogs left Lubbock following their series defeat and swept Texas. They’ll end the year at Oklahoma, hosting UT-Arlington, and then going on the road to Cal.
You remember when Florida (35-13) took the series from LSU? Yeah, those are their only three games against RPI Top 25 teams. Turns out that impressive SOS number is playing out to be not as impressive. They still have Kentucky (32-16) looming on the last weekend though, so that looks to be a huge series. The Wildcats came crashing back down to Earth this weekend with a dropped series to hapless Georgia, so the Cats have some work to do to cling onto their bubble seed.
Virginia, LSU, Mississippi State, Wake Forest, Arizona, Stanford, Maryland, Arkansas
Yes, LSU (32-16) still retains their national seed spot, and their standing has actually kinda improved since we last spoke. Beating South Carolina was huge but LSU needs to finish strong against Auburn and Mississippi State to solidify their host bid, which is no small task. Mississippi State (32-17) responded to their dropped doubleheader to Auburn by taking two games from Texas A&M. Andy Cannizaro’s Bulldogs travel to Georgia this weekend. Arkansas (35-13) swept Mississippi State early in the conference slate but have struggled a little since then, but they’re still on the right side of the host bubble. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks end the regular season against Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, which is gonna be hard for them.
Virginia (36-11) has had a nice run of things since they ran into Louisville in the first week of April and that looks like it can extend to the conference tournament, with The Miami University of Miami (MIA) next weekend and Georgia Tech after. Fun nugget: Georgia Tech was the exact last team in the tournament this week. Virginia does not play Wake Forest (32-14) in the regular season, who stopped their slide after dropping a series at Clemson by beating Boston College with relative ease.
Stanford (30-13) had an 11 game win streak end on Sunday, but not before they swept Oregon, Arizona, and beat Arizona State. The Cardinal end with a manageable slate: at California, Washington, and at Washington State. The Wildcats’ (31-15) sweep at the hands of Stanford came after they got swept by Utah, but Arizona pulled out of the flatspin by sweeping Washington.
Maryland (31-15) gets the B1G’s token bid but that’s on shaky ground after they dropped back to back series to Indiana and Illinois. Honestly, the B1G is such a crapshoot this year talking about it only pissing me off. Next.
The Rest Of The Field
The #NARRATIVE is stronger and the house always wins. Remember that.
LSU is a regional host and the two seed is Baylor, the school Kramer Robertson’s mom coaches at and has actively defended in the light of the recent [makes hand gestures] you know. LSU beat Baylor 4-0 in the Houston College Classic earlier this year so the narrative has already been written, all we have to do now is reheat it and serve with a side of fries. The three seed is Southeastern Louisiana, again. The question is always the same: is this the year that Southeastern breaks through and puts the Southland on the map? LSU is 3-3 against Southland opponents this season but their game against Southeastern is on the left side of the column. And the four seed is Jackson State, which sure okay.
The Baton Rouge Regional is paired with the Clemson Regional, which has...David Pierce’s Texas team as a two seed. Pierce was a the coach at Tulane for two years and lead the Green Wave to a series sweep of LSU in the midweeks.
But it wouldn’t be an NCAA Tournament if TCU and Texas A&M’s paths don’t cross, and while it’s not a Super Regional, A&M is the three seed in the Fort Worth Regional. The Aggies have seen their season end at the hands of the Horned Frogs two years in a row. Yeah, A&M is the three seed while Florida State is the two seed. Yeah, that’s worthy of the Regional Of Death Of The Week Award.
There is only one rule here at And The Valley Projects. If you don’t know it, you better learn it fast because I only say it once: