Committee can't please everybody, but overall balance impressive in 64-team field

The Clemson Sports Blog

Liberty shortstop Dalton Britt, left, catches Clemson's Tyler Slaton attempting to steal second during their NCAA Tournament elimination game in Columbia on Sunday. Liberty won 3-1 ending the Tigers season.

Photo by Mark Crammer

Liberty shortstop Dalton Britt, left, catches Clemson's Tyler Slaton attempting to steal second during their NCAA Tournament elimination game in Columbia on Sunday. Liberty won 3-1 ending the Tigers season.

You can't please everybody.

That's a fact of life when you're sitting on the NCAA baseball selection committee.

Last-one-in and first-one-out decisions usually come down to splitting hairs, and assignments are affected by conference affiliation, geography and human imperfection.

Given the difficulty of the task, this year's field matches up fairly impressively with the various RPI rankings.

Combined RPI numbers fall between 64-80 for the top three teams in 10 of the 16 regionals. Of the six that fall outside that range, two are lower - Houston (58) and Baton Rouge (62) - while four are higher, topped by Stillwater (108).

Top-seeded teams facing unusually tough challenges include No. 15 Miami from No. 17 Texas Tech, No. 20 Louisville from No. 19 Kentucky, No. 9 LSU from No. 10 Houston, and No. 7 Rice from No. 12 Texas.

The widest RPI gap between a No. 1 and 2 seed is in Charlottesville (No. 1 Virginia, No. 30 Liberty).

The tournament's raw-deal award goes to No. 53 College of Charleston, which not only is a four-seed (though with a higher RPI than two three-seeds), but is matched in the opening round against overall No. 2 seed Florida on the Gators' home field.

Following is a look at how the RPI numbers break down for this year's field of 64.

RPI By Regional

Charlottesville: Virginia (1), Liberty (30), Arkansas (33), Bucknell (110); Full Field: 174, Top 3: 64

Columbia: South Carolina (13), Maryland (25), ODU (36), Campbell (67); Full Field: 141, Top 3: 74

Gainesville: Florida (3), Long Beach State (29), UNC 42, College of Charleston (53); Full Field: 127, Top 3: 74

Miami: Miami (15), Texas Tech (17), Columbia (35), Bethune-Cookman (208); Full Field: 275, Top 3: 67

Tallahassee: FSU (4), Alabama (22), Kennesaw State (57), Georgia Southern (90); Full Field: 173; Top 3: 83

Louisville: Kentucky (19), Louisville (20), Kansas (47), Kent State (126); Full Field: 212; Top 3: 86

Bloomington: Indiana (2), Indiana State (21), Stanford (45), Youngstown State (270); Full Field: 338; Top 3: 68

Nashville: Vanderbilt (8), Oregon (23), Clemson (49), Xavier (97); Full Field: 177; Top 3: 80

Oxford: Mississippi (14), Washington (24), Georgia Tech (31), Jacksonville State (91); Full Field: 160; Top 3: 69

Baton Rouge: LSU (9), Houston (10), Bryant (43), SE Louisiana (73); Full Field: 135; Top 3: 62

Lafayette: Louisiana-Lafayette (5), Mississippi State (32), San Diego State (41), Jackson State (271); Full Field: 359; Top 3: 78

Stillwater: Oklahoma State (18), Nebraska (26), Cal State-Fullerton (54), Binghamton (153); Full Field: 261; Top 3: 108

Fort Worth: TCU (11), Dallas Baptist (28), Sam Houston State (37), Siena (196); Full Field: 272; Top 3: 76

Houston: Rice (7), Texas (12), Texas A&M (39), George Mason (122); Full Field: 180; Top 3: 58

Corvalis: Oregon State (6), UNLV (27), Cal-Irvine (44), North Dakota State (250); Full Field: 327; Top 3: 77

San Luis Obispo: Cal Poly (16), Pepperdine (34), Arizona State (38), Sacramento State (140); Full Field: 228 Top 3: 88

No. 1 Seeds (RPI in parentheses)

1. Virginia

2. Indiana (2)

3. Florida (3)

4. Florida State (4)

5. Louisiana-Lafayette (5)

6. Oregon State (6)

7. Rice (7)

8. Vanderbilt (8)

9. LSU (9)

10. TCU (11)

11. South Carolina (13)

12. Mississippi (14)

13. Miami (15)

14. Cal Poly (16)

15. Oklahoma State (18)

16. Louisville (20)

No. 2 Seeds

1. Houston (10)

2. Texas (12)

3. Texas Tech (17)

4. Kentucky (19)

5. Indiana State (21)

6. Alabama (22)

6. Oregon (23)

8. Washington (24)

9. Maryland (25)

10. Nebraska (26)

11. UNLV (27)

12. Dallas Baptist (28)

13. Long Beach State (29)

14. Mississippi State (32)

14. Arkansas (33)

16. Arizona State (38)

No. 3 Seeds

1. Liberty (30)

2. Georgia Tech (31)

3. Pepperdine (34)

4. Columbia (35)

5. Old Dominion (36)

6. Sam Houston State (37)

7. Texas A&M (39)

8. San Diego State (41)

9. North Carolina (42)

10. Bryant (43)

11. UC-Irvine (44)

12. Stanford (45)

13. Kansas (47)

14. Clemson (49)

15. Cal State-Fullerton (54)

16. Kennesaw State (57)

No. 4 Seeds

1. College of Charleston (53)

2. Campbell (67)

3. Southeastern Louisiana (73)

4. Georgia Southern (90)

5. Jacksonville State (91)

6. Xavier (97)

7. Bucknell (110)

8. George Mason (122)

9. Kent State (126)

10. Sacramento State (140)

11. Binghamton (153)

12. Siena (196)

13. Bethune-Cookman (206)

14. North Dakota State (250)

15. Youngstown State (270)

16. Jackson State (271)

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