Monday, May 26, 2014

Another step taken toward the CWS for ten HarbourCats

With the NCAA Div 1 regular seasons complete and the conference championships decided, the NCAA made it's picks this morning of the 64 teams that will make up the field for the Regional tournaments that start this coming Friday. Ten HarbourCat are moving forward into the tourneys.

Gabe Clark is one happy Beaver!
Gabe Clark's Oregon State Beavers captured the #1 National seed ensuring they should be hosting as long as they stay in the tournament (until the tourney moves to Omaha, that is). No small feat, the Beavers were close last year at #3, and in 2005 at #8. They will host the regional in Corvallis (home of the Knights!).

Kentucky (Andrew Nelson, Thomas Bernal) enters the Louisville regional as the #2 seed there, and Long Beach State (Alex DeGoti, Logan Lombana) head to Gainesville Florida also as the #2 seed.

The busiest "HarbourCat" regional takes place in San Luis Obispo California, where Cal Poly (Jake Lesinksi), Pepperdine (Aaron Barnett, Devin Carter), and Sacramento State (Gunner Pollman, Nathan Lukes) will battle along with Arizona State to move on. On the positive side for Victoria, two of the three teams will be eliminated in the regional, and those players will be available to start the season. This is the first time Sacramento State has made the tournament.

Absent from the tournament are a few teams with HarbourCat ties that had less than memorable conference tournaments...

  • University of New Mexico Lobos who entered their conference tournament as favourites lost two difficult games and made an early exit, dropping them to 63rd in the RPI rankings. UNLV eventually captured the Mountain West conference title, and the losses pushed the Lobos out of consideration for a bid. 
  • The Illinois Fighting Illini were upset by Michigan State twice and didn't make it to Saturday, finishing with an RPI of 55. Indiana won the Big 10 tournament.
  • Seattle University lost it's first two games and made an early exit from the WAC tournament, eventually won by Sacramento Sate. SU's RPI was 217.
  • Loyola-Marymount lost to Pepperdine in the final of the West Coast Conference and ended with an RPI of 123.

Of those teams, Illinois were the only ones with a shot at an "at large" bid on Monday. They had good stats in all of the metrics in play for getting a spot, but were not selected. I'm guessing it was the 3.0 from the Russian judge that did them in...

Lots of chatter (as always) around who made it and who didn't, including some very vocal people on the west coast who think the PAC 12 was slighted. While Oregon is hosting based on their National #1 ranking, the other PAC 12 teams have been scattered all over the country to play in other regionals. The Washington Huskies should have been considered to host given their outstanding season, but are instead headed to Mississippi ranked #2 in that regional. The Oregon Ducks are headed to Nashville, and Stanford is heading to Bloomington Indiana. Gotta love the subjective aspect of college sports!

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