As we give the throttle one last stomp heading into the last week of the regular season (well, for most conferences), things start looking up in Baton Rouge...
The National Seeds The Top Eight Seeds
Florida, Stanford, Arkansas, Oregon State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Clemson, Georgia
Some minor reshuffling this week, most notably at the back end of the spectrum. Ole Miss takes Auburn’s spot after a convincing sweep at Swayze and Georgia officially enters the top eight despite getting worked by Florida after Texas Tech drops a series to Texas. North Carolina slides a bit after dropping a series to arch rivals Duke, but nowhere near enough to force an exit from the left side of the bracket.
There is a solid 10-team pack at the front of the tournament field with a considerable amount of distance between the 10th team and the rest of the contestants, but only eight spots.
The Regional Hosts
Texas Tech, Auburn, Minnesota, NC State, Kentucky, Florida State, Texas A&M, Stetson
Minnesota remains the flavor of the week after holding steady with a series win over Michigan State. Everybody else holds firm except for Connecticut, who bows out after dropping a series to Houston. Taking their place is Stetson, the newest mid-major introduced to the 16 national seeds. And this isn’t me throwing the Hatters a bone, their resume speaks for itself: 40-11, RPI of 7, SOS of 57 (47 non-conference), and a 7-3 record against the RPI top 50. Pretty decent.
But yeah, the top of the field is mostly stabilized. The real day-to-day turnover shifts on down to the bubble teams, which...
But What About The Tigahs?
LSU is the literal last team to make the tournament field. Hey man, it doesn’t matter how you got the invite so long as you get to the dance.
But there is plenty of time for LSU to blow up their spot. Auburn is still in the running for a national seed and honestly the better team. Ma’khail Hilliard has had a good freshman season, but LSU is going to need him to either spring an upset or at least keep it close enough to eat innings and maintain a stocked bullpen for Saturday. Because LSU more or less needs, needs to win this weekend series AND probably spend Friday in Hoover in order to return to Baton Rouge with confidence in their resume.
But eliminating what needs to happen and looking only at what has happened...LSU makes it by the hair on their chinny chin chin.
Regional Of Death Of The Week
College Station Regional: Texas A&M, Texas, Arizona, Sam Houston State
The ROTDOTW will remain the College Station Regional until further notice. Any regional that will plausibly create a Mad Max type future will be the recipient of the award forever.
I’ll try my damnedest to have a quick turnaround projections ready on the Monday between the Auburn series and the SEC Tournament. Follow at @AdamdotH in case I try to drop live projections on Twitter during the tournament.