May 23, 2010
The regular season finally is complete for several teams around the country. There also are those that have one last chance to make a statement on Sunday.
Here are a few RPI items that piqued my interest following Saturday's action.
Oklahoma -- It will be mighty interesting to see what happens with the Sooners on Selection Monday if they play well in the Big 12 tournament. The Sooners picked up a huge win over Kansas on Saturday and improved to 41-14 overall. They also improved their postseason resume despite staying still at 18. OU is now 8-6 against the RPI Top 50 and 27-13 against the RPI Top 100. Based on what happened with OU last season, it's safe to say it shouldn't be a surprise if OU earns a regional host. As a matter of fact, it might be expected assuming the Sooners don't tank in the conference tournament.
Southeastern Louisiana -- It's safe to say the Lions are in trouble when it comes to the NCAA postseason field. They dropped all three games to Northwestern State this weekend and fell to 39-17 overall with an RPI of 48. In some circumstances, the Lions would be safe to make the postseason. But not this season. SELU is now 4-3 against RPI Top 50 teams and has just a 12-8 record against RPI Top 100 clubs. The Lions probably need to make a lot of noise in the conference tournament to make the field of 64.
Auburn -- Speaking of teams that should be in great shape for a regional host, take a look at the Tigers. With Vanderbilt's home series loss to Arkansas this weekend, it's safe to say the Tigers definitely should be a regional host. The Tigers did a clean sweep on the road of Ole Miss this weekend and improved to 39-17 overall. The Tigers also won the SEC West and now has an RPI of 14. Additionally, the Tigers are 17-13 against RPI Top 50 teams and 25-16 against RPI Top 100 teams. What a season for coach John Pawlowski's club.
North Carolina -- What to do about the Tar Heels? The Tar Heels certainly have played a better brand of baseball down the stretch, but will missing the ACC tournament and getting off to a horrid start this season kill the Heels' chances of making the postseason? In my opinion, probably not. I get the feeling the Heels sneak in, even though I believe they deserve to be home in two weeks. The Tar Heels have an overall record of 36-20 with an RPI of 21. They also are a dismal 3-14 against RPI Top 25 teams and 9-14 against RPI Top 50 teams. Not exactly an impressive resume, but they did sweep Virginia Tech this weekend.
Louisville -- It's hard to imagine the Cardinals didn't seal a national seed on Saturday by winning the Big East regular season title. There's really not much more the Cardinals could've done this season. With the series sweep over Notre Dame, the Cards now have an overall record of 46-10 with an RPI of 6. They also are 7-4 against RPI Top 50 teams and 24-7 against RPI Top 100 teams. Coach Dan McDonnell and his staff once again have done a fantastic job this season. They deserve to be a national seed.