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College : : Story
Postseason snapshot
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012

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HELPED ITS CASE

Wake Forest (33-23) -- The Demon Deacons already were in pretty good shape from an NCAA postseason bubble standpoint, but further solidified their position with a 7-3 triumph over N.C. State. Starting pitcher Jack Fischer put together a solid start for the Demon Deacons, allowing three runs in eight innings of work. Wake Forest entered the day with an RPI of 35 and is now 16-20 vs. RPI Top 50 and 16-23 vs. RPI Top 100.

Oklahoma (37-21) -- The Sooners were already in terrific shape to make the NCAA postseason, but absolutely left no doubt on Thursday with a 3-2 triumph over Baylor. OU starting pitcher Jordan John allowed just two runs in seven innings, while Steven Okert tossed two scoreless frames to end the game. Oklahoma entered the day with an RPI of 41, and now has a 19-20 record vs. RPI Top 100. 

St. John’s (35-21) -- The Johnnies appeared to be absolutely done from a postseason standpoint last weekend when they dropped a tough series to Seton Hall. Now they’re fighting back in a big way in the Big East tournament. Johnnies starting pitcher Sean Hagan struck out four and allowed just two runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work in a 6-3 win over previous nemesis Seton Hall. St. John’s still has some work to do, but entered the day with an RPI of 52, but still is 11-18 vs. RPI Top 100. 

Southeastern Louisiana (38-19) -- The Lions left a little doubt in terms of their postseason chances down the stretch with a loss to McNeese State and series loss to Sam Houston State. However, they’ve responded in a big way by winning the first two games of the Southland Conference tournament, beating Texas State 7-1 on Thursday with pitchers Jordan Hymel and Dylan Hills leading the charge. Southeastern entered the day with an RPI of 57 and is now 13-6 vs. RPI Top 100.

Kentucky (43-15) -- The Wildcats, of course, entered the SEC tournament a clear lock to reach the NCAA postseason. However, there was at least some question about their host spot after finishing the regular season with a tough series against Mississippi State. UK didn’t disappoint on Thursday, going 2-0 in the SEC tournament with a 5-1 win over those Bulldogs, thanks to a great performance from left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy. UK can go ahead and get Cliff Hagan Stadium ready for an NCAA Regional.


HURT ITS CASE

Mississippi State (36-22) -- With an RPI of 24 entering the day, the Bulldogs already were a long shot to host an NCAA Regional. But their hopes were squashed on Thursday in a disappointing loss to Kentucky. The Bulldogs are now 12-13 vs. RPI Top 50 and 22-20 vs. RPI Top 100. Good news for the Bulldogs is they’re clearly in the NCAA field of 64, something they couldn’t have said a few weeks ago.

College of Charleston (37-20) -- The Cougars entered the day with an RPI of 44, but really needed a win over Elon to feel good about their chances to make the NCAA postseason. Now, they could be in some serious trouble after dropping a 14-12 decision to the Phoenix. Charleston is now 5-11 vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-15 vs. RPI Top 100. Selection Monday will be a tough one for the Cougars.

Michigan State (36-20) -- The Spartans recorded an important win over Nebraska in their opening game at the Big Ten tournament, but now have something to prove the rest of the way after dropping a tough bout to Indiana. MSU began the day with an RPI of 43. The Spartans are 2-6 vs. RPI Top 50 and 12-12 vs. RPI Top 100. That’s probably not cutting it in terms of an at-large bid.

Texas (30-22) -- The Longhorns dropped their Big 12 tournament opener to Missouri, and took a huge step back on Thursday with a disappointing 4-2 loss to Kansas. UT starting pitcher John Curtiss allowed four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, while the offense was unable to manufacture runs. UT entered the day with an RPI of 45, but that figure likely will take a big hit.

Central Florida (41-15) -- The Knights were a long shot to host an NCAA Regional entering the week, but certainly took a step back on Thursday with a horrible 15-1 loss to UAB. UCF starting pitcher Eric Skoglund allowed five runs on 10 hits in four innings of work. UCF entered the day with an RPI of 23 and now has a 4-7 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 17-11 mark vs. RPI Top 100.

 

BUBBLE TEAMS SHOULD WATCH …

Memphis -- The Tigers aren’t going to earn an at-large bid, but they could throw a huge kink into someone’s postseason plans at the Conference USA tournament. Memphis is 2-0 at the C-USA tourney after squeaking past Rice in a thrilling contest. With the win, the Tigers are guaranteed to play in the title game. And should they win that contest, there goes another bubble spot for someone.

Missouri -- Bubble teams, especially Texas, were disappointed when the Tigers upset Texas A&M on Thursday to improve to 2-0 in the Big 12 tournament. Missouri has an RPI of 92, so earning an at-large bid isn’t an option at this point. Fortunately for some bubble teams, Oklahoma in the other bracket is 2-0, and the Sooners are a lock to be in the postseason for now. Either way, bubble teams want the Tigers losing.

Creighton -- The Bluejays are 2-0 at the Missouri Valley tournament after earning wins over Indiana State and Illinois State, and there’s no chance they can earn an at-large bid at this point with an RPI of 167. CU is in terrific shape in the MVC tournament, but if you’re a bubble team, you’re hoping they fail to seal the deal. 

Fresno State -- Remember those always postseason-ready Bulldogs? They’re back. Fresno is now 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference tournament after beating Hawaii 8-2 and New Mexico State 15-8. Fresno certainly isn’t in the mix for an at-large bid, and the Aggies are in good shape for an at-large bid. In other words, if you’re a bubble team, you’re hoping NMSU puts things together the rest of the weekend. 

Samford, Georgia Southern -- Bubble teams aren’t happy about the developments at the Southern Conference tournament. Samford improved to 2-0 in the tourney with an impressive win over Appalachian State. The Mountaineers, a for-sure at-large team, aren’t eliminated just yet, though. However, the same can’t be said for College of Charleston, which was eliminated by Elon with a 14-12 loss. Georgia Southern also is 2-0 in the tourney, playing an impressive brand of baseball.


NATIONAL SEEDS (as of Wednesday, no order)

Florida

Florida State

Baylor

Oregon

UCLA

Louisiana State

North Carolina

South Carolina

Three more to watch: Stanford, Rice, Texas A&M

 

REGIONAL HOSTS (as of Wednesday)

Florida

Florida State

Baylor

Oregon

UCLA

Louisiana State

North Carolina

South Carolina

--

Texas A&M

Rice

Stanford

North Carolina State

Purdue

Virginia

Arizona

Kentucky

Others to watch: Cal State Fullerton



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