Projected field of 64 (conference tournament week)

With Selection Monday just days away, things have come to a head in projecting the NCAA Tournament field. Conference tournaments begin in earnest this week, while the first two automatic bids have been won (Penn in the Ivy League, Army in the Patriot League).

Baseball America will update this projected field of 64 daily throughout the week with all the latest results. While there are still some projections in this update, those are quickly erased and turned into an assessment of what the selection committee is supposed to do.

2024 NCAA Baseball Bracket (Updated May 21)

Knoxville, TN. Santa Barbara, California.
1. (1) Tennessee^* 1. (16) UC Santa Barbara^*
2. UConn* 2.Arizona*
3. Louisville 3. Vanderbilt
4. Wright State* 4. Grand Canyon*
Chapel Hill, North Carolina Flatwater, Oklahoma.
1. (2) North Carolina^* 1. (15) Oklahoma State^
2. Oregon 2. Nebraska
3.Charleston* 3. Northeast
4. Penne* 4. Lamar*
College Station, TX Greenville, North Carolina
1. (3) Texas A&M^ 1. (14) East Carolina^*
2. Louisiana* 2. Wake Forest
3. TCU 3. Coastal Carolina
4. Sacred Heart* 4. Army*
Lexington, KY. Terre Haute, Ind.
1. (4) Kentucky^ 1. (13) State of Indiana^*
2. West Virginia 2. Mississippi State
3. Xavier 3. Illinois*
4. Bowling Green State* 4. St. Louis*
Fayetteville, Ark. Corvallis, ore.
1. (5) Arkansas^ 1. (12) State of Oregon^
2. Louisiana Tech* 2. University of California, Irvine
3. Kansas State 3. LSU
4. Nebraska-Omaha* 4. Air Force*
Clemson, South Carolina Tallahassee, Florida.
1. (6) Clemson^ 1. (11) State of Florida^
2.Alabama 2. Miss Southern
3. UNC Greensboro* 3. Florida
4. Presbyterian* 4. Stetson*
Norman, okay. Charlottesville, Virginia.
1. (7) Oklahoma^* 1. (10) Virginie^
2. Dallas Baptist 2.Texas
3. Georgia Tech 3. James Madison
4. Arkansas-Little Rock* 4. Bryant*
Athens, Georgia. Raleigh, North Carolina
1. (8) Georgia^ 1. (9) NC State^
2. Duke 2. San Diego*
3. UCF 3. South Carolina
4. Florida A&M* 4. Fairfield*

* indicates automatic bidding
^ denotes regional host
Bold means an automatic auction that has already been concluded

Last four in

61. LSU
62. UCF
63. Georgia Technology
64. Louisville

First four outs

65. Troy
66. UNC Wilmington
67. Indiana
68. Cincinnati

Next four outs

69. California
70. Virginie Tech
71. Georgetown
72. East Tennessee State

When is the NCAA baseball bracket released?

The full field of 64 will be released on Monday, May 27 at 12 p.m. ET, an event commonly referred to as “Selection Monday.” The 2024 NCAA Tournament is scheduled to begin later in the week with regionals on Friday, May 31. This sets the stage for the 2024 Men’s College World Series, which begins Friday, June 14.

Some notes from the field

A change on the reception line this week. NC State trades spots on the host line with Wake Forest after sweeping the Demon Deacons this weekend. The Wolfpack are ranked 14th in the RPI and finished third in the ACC. They appear to be safe as hosts for the ACC Tournament and could have a strong case for a top-eight seed if they continue their strong play in Charlotte.

The race for general ranking No. 1 goes down to the wire. I projected Tennessee here. I don’t feel amazing yet, as the Volunteers rank fifth in the RPI. But they won the SEC regular season title and are the favorite to win at Hoover. If they do, they will be seeded. I would generally expect the #1 overall seed to be the SEC tournament champion, provided it is one of Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky or Texas A&M (the top four tournament seeds). North Carolina would be a bit upset, given the SEC’s perception, but with an ACC Tournament title and/or an upset in Hoover, the Tar Heels could still do it.

The last place among the top eight seeds will be decided until the finish. I think the top seven seeds are pretty well locked down. Oklahoma may still be vulnerable if it goes, say, 0-2 in the Big 12 tournament. But that still leaves one malleable point. I went with Georgia here, which would give the SEC five seeds in the top eight, which is a lot. But – and we’ll get to this in more detail in a minute – I think the committee will look at the metrics and the metrics indicate that Georgia should be a top eight seed.

If the committee believes no conference should get that many top eight seeds, then it will likely come down to an ACC team. Ranking the high-end ACC teams is a difficult task – Florida State has the best RPI, NC State finished first in the ACC rankings and Virginia is also there with solid victories. Maybe it depends on who plays better in Charlotte.

The SEC has 11 offers in this projection. This would set a record and be a controversial decision. But as things stand as of Tuesday morning, all 11 teams have won 13 SEC games and are in the top 30 in RPI and top 22 in KPI. I believe the committee didn’t bother to add KPIs and tweak the quadrant system and then ignored it during selection on Monday. This is a potentially unprecedented season, with the SEC so powerful across the board.

The selection committee is also presented with a situation where five teams are tied in the standings with a record of 13-17. In the past, when one of these teams was excluded, it was easier to justify themselves as a team that finished late. This year, these teams represent the middle tier of the SEC. Tuesday’s single-elimination games at the SEC tournament will no doubt help break the logjam, but as it stands, I think they’re all in the field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *