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Comparing Kentucky to Other Bubble Teams


UK Athletics

We are less than 24 hours away from the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, and the BatCats are in a good position to make the field of 64. There have not been many stolen bids across the country as projected at-large teams won their conference tournaments. As we move closer to knowing the fate of UK, take a look at how the Cats’ resume compares to other bubble teams.

Kentucky’s Resume

Record (Conference): 34-22 (13-18)

RPI and SOS: 32, 25

Record vs Top 25: 8-10

Record vs Top 26-100: 13-10

Record vs 101-200+: 13-2

The one factor that would keep UK out of the NCAA Tournament would be their lack of conference wins. Time will tell if the selection committee gives UK the benefit of the doubt because of their difficult conference schedule. The Cats have five wins against teams in the RPI top ten, including series wins against Georgia and Texas Tech. D1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers said this morning that UK was in, but it will be close thanks to their conference record.

Illinois

Record (Conference): 32-20 (18-12)

RPI and SOS: 47,47

Record vs Top 25: 2-2

Record vs Top 26-100: 11-11

Record vs 101-200+: 19-7

The Illini have several good wins outside of Big Ten play, but they lack that huge win over a highly-ranked opponent. Prior to the Big Ten Tournament, Illinois was one of the last five teams in D1 Baseball’s projected field. The Illini did not do too much to help their case as they went 2-2 in the tournament with a pair of wins against Indiana.

Arizona

Record (Conference): 34-22, 14-16

RPI and SOS: 46,46

Record vs Top 25: 5-6

Record vs Top 26-100: 9-9

Record vs 101-200+: 20-7

The 2012 National Champions are on the bubble for 2018. Arizona took two of three from Oregon this weekend to save their season. A pair of series wins this season over Oregon State and UCLA helped to boost Arizona’s RPI to what it is today.

Troy

 

Record (Conference): 41-18 (19-11)

RPI and SOS: 37, 93

Record vs Top 25: 4-7

Record vs Top 26-100: 7-8

Record vs 101-200+: 30-3

The Trojans lost in the Sun Belt Tournament but should be safe in the field of 64. Troy has some good wins and the Sun Belt is a solid conference. I like the Trojans to get into the tournament as a three seed.

Washington

Record (Conference): 30-23 (20-10)

RPI and SOS: 63, 44

Record vs Top 25: 7-6

Record vs Top 26-100: 7-5

Record vs 101-200+: 16-12

If you had asked me last week if the Huskies were in, I probably would have said no. U-Dub took two of three against Stanford this weekend and were one win away from winning the PAC-12 outright. The RPI isn’t there, but the rest of their resume stacks up pretty well.

Northeastern

Record (Conference): 36-19 (20-8)

RPI and SOS: 35, 69

Record vs Top 25: 1-7

Record vs Top 26-100: 8-9

Record vs 101-200+: 27-3

Northeastern is in the same boat as UNC Greensboro, Troy, and many other teams that were upset in their conference tournament. Thanks to four losses in five games against UNC Wilmington in the regular season and SOCON tournament, Northeastern is back on the bubble.

Central Florida

Record (Conference): 35-21 (13-10)

RPI and SOS: 43, 36

Record vs Top 25: 6-10

Record vs Top 26-100: 16-9

Record vs 101-200+: 13-2

The Knights should try to claim the 2018 AAC Tournament Title since they didn’t actually win that either. UCF went 0-2 in their conference tournament and dropped to the bubble. The RPI and SOS will help UCF, but ten conference losses hurts their resume.

We will know who is in and who is out this time tomorrow. Tune in at noon ET on ESPNU tomorrow for the Selection Show.

Article written by Trey Huntsman

Keepin' fresh since '96. I couldn't play baseball, so I write about it to fill the void. Former Tampa Bay Rays Trackman and host of the KSR Baseball Podcast. Follow me on Twitter @TreyHuntsmanKSR.

5 responses to “Comparing Kentucky to Other Bubble Teams”

  1. Big Blue Daddy 98

    Trey,
    As a long time reader of the site I want to say thanks for baseball coverage! I love UK basketball and football but other sports matter too.

    Question: Are you concerned about Moreheads upset of Tennesse Tech (48 wins and high rpi despite weak sos) today stealing UK’s bid?

  2. Big Blue Daddy 98

    I ask bc Tenn. Tech is most certainly an at large and didn’t win OVC tourney

  3. rogerd

    Great analysis as usual Trey. I enjoy your articles and podcasts. Too bad you didn’t get to spend more time at the Super Target in Hoover this year.

  4. UKInsider

    Nice coverage. If the Cats get into the Regionals, they could be dangerous with a healthy pitching staff.

  5. Bull Filmer

    GO CATS!