College Baseball Roundup

As the regular season enters its final week, the Stanford Cardinal find themselves one game behind the first place USC Trojans in the Pac-10 Conference. This week's "Roundup" focuses on the conference as well as some in-depth analysis and projections on the NCAA Tournament brackets that will be announced next week.

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

Pac-10 Standings :
                      Conf.   GB    Overall

USC                   14-7     -     31-22
Stanford              13-8    1.0    37-16
Washington            13-8    1.0    28-24-1
Arizona State         12-9    2.0    32-19
Oregon State          10-11   4.0    31-20
California            11-13   4.5    29-27
UCLA                   9-12   5.0    26-30
Arizona                8-13   6.0    30-22
Washington State       6-15   8.0    21-30

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

JJ's Super Sixteen
** Records are through Sunday 5-19 **

   Team                  Record  Previous

1. Florida State          51-12     4
            * Seminoles go in to #1 Clemson and sweep the Tigers outscoring them 30-9 in the process.

2. Wake Forest            42-9-1    1
            * Demon Deacons finish second in the ACC after taking 2-of-3 at last-place Duke over the weekend.

3. Rice                   44-11     3
            * Owls drop mid-week game to Texas, but rebound to sweep Fresno State over the weekend.

4. Clemson                44-12     2
            * Tigers win two mid-week games, but then suffer series sweep at the hands of Florida State.

5. Texas                  43-13     5
            * Longhorns with a perfect 4-0 week (1-0 at Rice, 3-0 vs. Texas A&M).

6. South Carolina         44-12     6
            * Gamecocks win the SEC East after sweeping Georgia.

7. Houston                41-14     8
            * Cougars win C-USA after impressive three-game sweep of TCU.

8. Stanford               37-16     7
            * Cardinal brake even at 2-2 after losing mid-week game to Nevada but coming back to take 2-of-3 at UCLA.

9. Georgia Tech           44-12     10
            * Yellow Jackets go 3-1 last week with a single win over Georgia, then take 2-of-3 versus North Carolina.

10. LSU                   38-17     14
            * Tigers on fire as they sweep visiting Alabama over the weekend.

11. North Carolina        39-17     11
            * Tar Heels complete sweep of Duke on Monday but then drop 2-of-3 games to Georgia Tech.

12. Nebraska              39-17     13
            * Cornhuskers with a perfect 4-0 week (1-0 vs. Creighton, 3-0 vs. Louisiana Tech).

13. Notre Dame            41-14     16
            * Irish getting hot at the right time as they win the Big East after a three-game sweep of Boston College.

14. Wichita State         41-14     12
            * Shockers split four games with Southern Illinois but it was enough to win the Missouri Valley Conference.

15. Alabama               44-12     9
            * Crimson Tide have a difficult week as they go into Baton Rouge and get swept by the Tigers.

16. Cal State Northridge  40-15     NA
            * Matadors back in the poll after sweeping UC Irvine and winning the Big West title.

Dropped Out : USC (31-22, 1-3 last week).

NCAA Tournament Analysis and Predictions :
* If the season ended today, it looks like the Pac-10 will get four teams into the tournament.  Stanford is still fighting for a national seed while USC is still in the hunt for a #1 seed in the sub-regionals.  ASU had a great weekend as they took 2-of-3 from the Trojans which should help their seeding when the brackets are announced in a week.  Huge weekend for Washington as they probably need to finish in the top two in the conference to get a berth into the tourney considering they have a terrible RPI.  Oregon State's only shot now is if they sweep Arizona State down in the desert and then get some help.

* My prediction on the eight "National Seeds" ... #1 Florida State, #2 Wake Forest, #3 Rice, #4 Clemson, #5 South Carolina, #6 Texas, #7 Stanford, #8 LSU.  The Seminoles vault into the top spot after sweeping Clemson and winning the ACC regular season title.  Wake finished second in the conference and has had a great season so far.  Clemson falls back after getting swept by FSU, but I think still looks good for a national seed.  Tigers just need to avoid going 0-2 in this week's ACC tourney as that would make it very difficult to give them a national seed considering they would have lost five in a row going into the NCAA's.  Rice looks strong as a national seed after easily winning the WAC.  South Carolina is the favorite to win the SEC Tournament this week as they are playing very good baseball right now.  Alabama finished slightly ahead of LSU in the SEC West, but the Tigers just swept the Tide and if they finish higher then Alabama in the SEC Tourney then I think LSU will get a national seed over Bama.  That leaves two spots.  Stanford will get a national seed if they win the Pac-10, the question is what will happen if they don't win the conference.  You would figure the last two spots are between the Card, Texas, and Houston.  Now both the Longhorns and the Cougars won their respective conference's and the committee likes giving national seeds to conference winners.  So, if Stanford doesn't win the Pac-10 then it could be tough for them to get a top eight seed because both UT and UH won their conference's.  You would have to think the Card would benefit from two-and-out finishes from Texas and/or Houston in their conference tournament's this week.

* 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 Cal State Fullerton, #3 San Jose State, #4 San Diego.  Talk about a difficult regional.  Looks like there will only be two west coast school's hosting this year (Stanford and likely USC).  That means eight teams in those two regionals, but it's looking like there will be nine west coast teams in the postseason so someone will have to travel.  I think Stanford's regional will feature Fullerton as the Titans finished below CS Northridge in the Big West this season so the committee will probably reward the Matadors with a #1 seed in SC's sub-regional (Northridge doesn't have the ballpark to host a regional).  That means Fullerton travels up here.  SJSU is a very difficult #3 seed and it's almost assured the Spartans will stay in the Bay Area after their outstanding regular season.  The #4 seed I have is San Diego out of the WCC.  San Diego and SDSU (Mountain West champ) are probably the two #4 seeds in the west coast regionals so one of those two clubs will probably be Stanford's first round opponent in the sub-regionals.  SC's regional right now probably has #1 CSUN, #2 SC, #3 Long Beach State, #4 SDSU.  ASU looks like they will have to travel, probably to a midwest regional.  Now, if Washington qualifies for the tournament that could present a problem.  That would mean ten west coast teams in the tournament which means two teams have to travel.  So it's certainly possible for the Huskies to come to Stanford's regional as a #3 seed.

* I can almost guarantee that these two sub-regionals will be matched up in the super-regionals as the committee wants to reduce travel.  Could have a '99 repeat with Stanford playing USC with Omaha on the line.

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