Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekly RPI Report (T-2)

By Samuel Chi

The Titans went 4-1 last week, beating Arizona twice and taking two of three from Cal Poly. With North Carolina losing a series to NC State, Fullerton returned to the top spot in the RPI, solidifying its claim on a national seed.

Combined with UC Santa Barbara's three-game sweep of Long Beach State (at Goodwin Field, no less), the Titans are now in sole possession of second place in the Big West. If they can beat the Dirtbags twice in the season-ending series, they should clinch second place in the conference and put aside any doubts of nailing down a national seed.

Series wins over UCLA next week and Long Beach, plus a midweek victory over Pepperdine will guarantee Fullerton a top five finish in the RPI. Though the top four teams in the RPI are bunched together and may see their positions fluctuate, there's a sizable gap between these teams and the No. 6 spot, currently occupied by Florida. (Arizona State is at No. 5.)

As of Monday morning, this is the current RPI and national seeding picture:

No. 1 Cal State Fullerton (Big West) - Near lock, second in conference
No. 2 Georgia Tech (ACC) - Near lock, leads ACC Coastal, Duke to come
No. 3 Texas (Big 12) - Lock, needs one K-State loss to clinch title
No. 4 North Carolina (ACC) - Near lock, holds tiebreakers over GT and Virginia
No. 5 Arizona State (Pac-10) - Lock, has comfortable lead in conference
No. 8 UC Irvine (Big West) - Lock, clinched title with two series left
No. 9 Rice (C-USA) - Lock, can clinch title with series win at UAB
No. 11 Virginia (ACC) - Slim, may need to win ACC Tournament
No. 13 LSU (ACC) - Near lock, can clinch SEC East at Mississippi State
No. 14 Florida State (ACC) - Slim, will need to win ACC Tournament

At the moment, it looks like the eight national seeds will come from this group. Barring dramatic results from the ACC or SEC tournaments, it looks like the ACC will get two national seeds and SEC only one. The others will go to the three West Coast teams and two Texas teams.

These are the latest national seed projections:

1. North Carolina, 2. UC Irvine, 3. Rice, 4. Texas, 5. Cal State Fullerton, 6. Arizona State, 7. Georgia Tech, 8. LSU.

These teams are projected to be regional top seeds and most likely hosts:

Florida, Ole Miss, Clemson, Virginia, Florida State, Minnesota, TCU and the Oklahoma-Texas A&M series winner.

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