College Baseball Roundup

This week's Roundup takes a look at the Pac-10 Conference as there are only two weeks remaining in the regular season. Also, check out updated NCAA Tournament projections as well as JJ's "Super Sixteen" national rankings.

Last Week in the Pac-10 :
* at Stanford 2, Arizona State 1
* at USC 2, Washington 1
* at California 3, Oregon State 0
* UCLA 2, at Arizona 1
at Washington State 1, Lewis-Clark State 1

Pac-10 Standings :
                      Conf.   GB    Overall

USC                   13-5     -     30-19
Stanford              11-7    2.0    35-14
Washington            11-7    2.0    25-22-1
Arizona State         10-8    3.0    28-18
Oregon State           9-9    4.0    30-18
California            11-13   5.0    29-16
UCLA                   8-10   5.0    24-29
Arizona                7-11   6.0    29-20
Washington State       4-14   9.0    19-28

This Week in the Pac-10 :
* Stanford at UCLA
* USC at Arizona State
* Washington at Oregon State
* Washington State at Arizona

JJ's Super Sixteen
** Records are through Sunday 5-12 **

   Team                  Record  Previous

1. Wake Forest            39-8      3
            * Demon Deacons go 1-0 with single win over VCU and move up to #1 after Clemson and Rice had tough week's.

2. Clemson                42-9      1
            * Tigers lose rubber game of Georgia Tech series on Monday (11-0) then drop mid-week game to Elon before winning first two games of series with Virginia.

3. Rice                   41-10     2
            * Owls drop mid-week game to Lamar 10-4, but rebound to take 2-of-3 from San Jose State in hard faught series.

4. Florida State          48-12     4
            * Seminoles complete sweep of Duke earlier in the week then sweep Maryland over the weekend ... 13 wins in a row.

5. Texas                  39-13     5
            * Longhorns had the week off.

6. South Carolina         39-12     6
            * Gamecocks take 2-of-3 from visiting Tennessee over the weekend.

7. Stanford               35-14     7
            * Cardinal with 3-1 week as they defeat Santa Clara during the week then take 2-of-3 from Arizona State.

8. Houston                37-14     8
            * Cougars go on the road and sweep Charlotte.

9. Alabama                43-9      9
            * Crimson Tide sweep visiting Mississippi State over the weekend.

10. Georgia Tech          41-11     11
            * Yellow Jackets complete series win over Clemson then take 2-of-3 from Miami (25-25 record) over the weekend.

11. North Carolina        37-15     12
            * Tar Heels win the first two games of their series with Duke with the third game to be played today.

12. Wichita State         39-12     14
            * Shockers move up after taking 3-of-4 games from Illinois State.

13. Nebraska              35-17     15
            * Cornhuskers take a brake from Big 12 play and sweep Cal Poly in Lincoln.

14. LSU                   35-17     NA
            * Tigers back in the poll after taking 2-of-3 games at Florida.

15. USC                   30-19     NA
            * Trojans still on top of the Pac-10 after taking 2-of-3 games from Washington.

16. Notre Dame            36-14     NA
            * Fighting Irish playing very well of late as they win 2-of-3 games at Villanova over the weekend.

Dropped Out : Mississippi (35-16, 0-3 last week), Florida (37-15, 2-2 last week), Cal State Northridge (36-15, 1-2 last week).

Inside the "Super Sixteen" :
* Clemson dropped their first series of the year when they fell to Georgia Tech 11-0 on Monday.  Rice is now the only team in the poll without a weekend series loss this year although the Owls have lost their share of mid-week games.

* Conference Breakdown : ACC (5 teams), SEC (3), Big 12 (2), Pac-10 (2), Big East (1), Conference USA (1), Missouri Valley (1), WAC (1).

* First time all season that no Big West team is in the poll after Northridge dropped 2-of-3 games to Long Beach State (and Northridge swept Fullerton two weeks ago knocking the Titans out).

* Three teams in the preseason "Super Sixteen" top ten are back in the poll this week in LSU, USC, and Notre Dame.

* If the season ended today, three CWS teams from a year ago in Miami, Tulane, and Tennessee would not make the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament Analysis and Predictions :
* If the season ended today, it looks like the Pac-10 will get four teams into the tournament.  Oregon State's chances really took a hit last weekend when they were swept by California.  Stanford is fighting for a National Seed while USC is fighting for a #1 seed in a Sub-Regional.  If the Trojans can win the conference, then there is a very good chance they will be able to get that #1 seed and host.  Beside Stanford and SC, no other west coast team is looking like they can host.  Northridge doesn't have a very good facility while Fullerton needs to finish very, very strong to have a chance.  Back to the Pac-10, Arizona State is in right now if the season ended today, they just need to avoid being swept by USC this weekend or else they are in serious trouble.  Washington is in right now and I think that because of their terrible RPI ranking they will need to finish in the top 2 in the conference to make the tournament.  Huge series for them this weekend at Oregon State.

* My prediction on the eight "National Seeds" (in no particular order) ... Clemson, Rice, Wake Forest, Texas, South Carolina, Stanford, Alabama, and Florida State.  Well, I finally caved in and put three teams from one conference as National Seeds.  A combination of the Pac-10 and Big 12 getting only a maximum of one National Seed and the ACC being so top heavy convinced me.  Florida State's guady record of 48-12 is too tough to ignore and I think they should be considered as one of the top eight teams in the country.  I have them joining Clemson and Wake Forest from the ACC.  Huge series this weekend (final weekend of ACC play) has Florida State playing at Clemson.  ACC Tournament should be outstanding this year with five teams in my top 11.  South Carolina and Alabama are starting to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the SEC in terms of National Seed's.  Florida and Mississippi both lost series' last weekend while the Gamecocks and Tide continue to lead their respective divisions in the SEC.  Texas is in as the Big 12 champion as they are currently three games ahead of Nebraska in the loss column.  Stanford has helped their cause over the past two weekends but needs to keep in up if they want to be a National Seed.  Houston (the likely C-USA champion) is the odd team out this week, but should be considered if one of the top teams struggles over the final two weeks of the regular season.

* My current prediction on who is coming to Stanford for the sub-regional (just a guess, don't take it too seriously) ... #1 Stanford, #2 San Jose State, #3 Washington, #4 UC Irvine.  SJSU is playing very well right now and it's looking like they will finish second in the WAC behind Rice.  If they continue to play well down the stretch, look for the tournament committee to reward them by not making them travel far.  Stanford's regional would be the closest.  #3 seed right now is probably a Pac-10 team (new NCAA rules now allows teams from the same conference to play each other in the sub-regionals, just not in a first round game).  I'll go with Washington right now although ASU is also probably a #3 seed as well.  The reason I chose the Huskies over the Sun Devils is because Stanford's regional will be the closest to Washington while ASU will have closer regionals in Southern California.  The #4 seed is UC Irvine out of the Big West.  All four teams should be from California with the exception of a possible Pac-10 team from out-of-state.

* One thing to look out for is the very real possibility that Stanford's and USC's sub-regional brackets could be matched up for the super-regionals.  There is no way SC is a National Seed and you know the tournament committee would love to place those two teams together in a super-regional (remember 1999) to get a different variety of teams in Omaha.

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