Do The Cowboys Deserve Baseball Invite?

Oklahoma State is tucked away in Stillwater and awaiting the "Road to Omaha" NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Show at 11 a.m. Monday (CT) on ESPNU. The Cowboys have on their resume an adjusted 38-17 record (the win over Southeastern Oklahoma State doesn't count), is No. 52 in the updated RPI, a second-place regular season finish in the Big 12, and the 0-3 pool record in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Cowboys have RPI positive wins over Kansas State (18), Nebraska (28, and playing for the Big 10 Championship), Oklahoma (38), New Mexico (47 and the Mountain West champion) and Missouri Valley champion Wichita State.

The good thing is the Cowboys don't have any really bad losses with their worst loss coming to UC-Davis (19-37) and No. 242 on the projected RPI. The next worse loss was to Loyola-Marymount (122) and then TCU (106). Those were the only three losses above 100.

From a statistical standpoint, the Cowboys are ranked 18th in the nation with a 2.79 earned run average and they have beaten Texas in a series who is ranked seventh in that category. Oklahoma State is 62nd in batting average with a team average of .289 and they have won series over the number one and two teams in the nation in that stat in top ranked New Mexico and Kansas State.

The NCAA will announce on Sunday the regional host sites, 16 of them, and here are our projections for those. The committee will have little choice in spreading these out as the best teams have good facilities and have earned the right to host. We only have five sites west of the Mississippi and only four in what you would call northern locations.

Projected NCAA Division I Baseball Regional Hosts:
North Carolina
South Carolina
Kansas State
Oregon State
North Carolina State
Cal-State Fullerton
Virginia Tech
Florida State
Mississippi State

As for the Cowboys, we believe they should receive an at-large bid for the tournament. It does hold value to look at how mid-major teams ahead of the Cowboys have done in the RPI and whether they have claimed automatic bids. Here is a look at those mid-majors ahead of the Cowboys in the RPI:
#16 - South Alabama - eliminated in the Sun Belt Tournament
#22 - Louisiana-Lafayette - plays Florida Atlantic today in Sun Belt Championship
#25 - Cal Poly - eliminated in Big West Tournament
#26 - Austin Peay - won the Ohio Valley Tournament
#27 - Florida Atlantic - plays Louisiana-Lafayette today in Sun Belt Championship
#30 - Mercer - eliminated in Atlantic Sun Tournament
#31 - UNC-Wilmington - eliminated in Colonial Athletic Tournament
#35 - Rice - plays Southern Miss today for the Conference USA Championship
#37 - Campbell - lost to Liberty in the Big South Championship
#41 - Troy - eliminated in the Sun Belt Tournament
#44 - William & Mary - lost to Towson in the Colonial Athletic Tournament
#45 - Coastal Carolina - eliminated in the Big South Tournament
#46 - San Diego - won the Big West Tournament
#47 - New Mexico - won the Mountain West Tournament
#48 - Sam Houston State - eliminated in the Southland Tournament
#50 - Bryant - won the Northeast Conference Tournament
#51 - San Francisco - lost to San Diego in the Big West Conference Championship

Again, the NCAA Tournament field will be announced at 11 a.m. Monday on ESPNU.

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