Monday, May 18, 2009

NCAA Top 30 - May 18, 2009

Mike Leake is the difference between the top two teams

It’s Conference Tournament Week, and the time things start to get really exciting in College Baseball. While most of the bids from the major conferences are already determined, there are some second tier conferences that should provide some excitement this weekend as we watch to see which upset, or two, starts knocking out some bubble teams. Then you have six of the likely National Seeds already determined, but schools like Georgia Tech, Clemson, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Florida will be looking to be impressive enough to nail down one of the final two spots. Additionally Arkansas, Florida State, Miami, Rice, Texas A&M, and Virginia look to be the six teams battling for the final three Regional Host spots. As we enter the last week before the tournament, here’s how we at Diamond Futures see things shaping up:

1) Arizona State (41-11, Previous #2) – It would be easy to pick Irvine for the top spot, but after the Sun Devils swept Oregon over the weekend, outscoring them 27-2 in doing so, I just think the automatic ‘W’ being posted by Mike Leake every time out right now gives them the ever so slight edge.

2) UC – Irvine (40-12, Previous #1) – Swept UC-Davis over the weekend, and Tuesday’s 9-2 loss to San Diego is their only defeat in their last 11 games.

3) Cal State-Fullerton (38-14, Previous #3) – Took 2 of three in a really fun series against a quality UCLA team over the weekend. Undoubtedly one of the nation’s best teams but a marginal RPI may keep them from a National Seed.

4) Texas (38-12, Previous #4) – Weather and an insignificant opponent made last week inconsequential. Will head into the Big 12 Tourney as the #1 seed.

5) LSU (41-15, Previous #5) – The Tigers went 3–1 last week and finished the regular season on a 14-3 run.

6) North Carolina (41-14, Previous #8) – The Tar Heels went 3-1 last week, but if they can’t get more consistency from Alex White, and their starting rotation, they may find themselves as an early upset victim.

7) Mississippi (40-15, Previous #12) – We told you last week that the Arkansas series would tell us more about the Rebels. The sweep of the Razorbacks puts them in National Seed contention.

8) Oklahoma (40-16, Previous #13) – The Sooners, made one of the week’s biggest jumps after their impressive sweep of the Aggies over the weekend.

9) Florida (38-18, Previous #9) – The Gators went 3-1 last week and now open up the SEC Tourney against Arkansas.

10) Texas Christian (35-14, Previous #14) – The Horned Frogs went 4-0 last week and enter the Conference tourney having won 8 of their last 9.

11) Rice (35-15, Previous #6) – Lost 2 of 3 to Alabama-Birmingham this weekend as their pitching was torched for 28 runs in 3 games.

12) Georgia Tech (34-15, Previous #7) – We were worried last week about the Duke series…now you know why. The Yellow Jackets lost 3 of 4 last week.

13) Florida State (40-14, Previous #11) – Four games against the woeful 14-35 Grambling Tigers did nothing to help them prepare for tournament time.

14) Clemson (39-17, Previous #16) – Won all 4 games last week, but is an easy final two week schedule going to come back to haunt them?

15) Kansas State (39-15, Previous #15) - Lost 2 of 3 to Kansas over the weekend…now face them again in the Conference Tourney opener.

16) Virginia (39-12, Previous #10) - Losing 2 of 3 at Virginia Tech over the weekend drops the Cavaliers from the #4 seed to the #6 seed in this weekend’s tourney.

17) Cal-Poly (35-17, Previous #20) – The 3rd Best team, in the very tough Big West Conference.

18) East Carolina (41-15, Previous #22) – The Pirates have won 6 straight and are now the top seed in the Conference USA tourney.

19) South Carolina (37-19, Previous NR) – The Gamecocks are one of the hottest teams in the country right now behind a resurgent Sam Dyson. 5-0 last week and they have now won 7 in a row.

20) Alabama (37-17, Previous #18) – Losing two out of three against Auburn wasn’t how the Tide hoped to close out the regular season.

21) Miami, FL (35-18, Previous #23) – After playing near .500 ball for over a month, the Hurricanes destroyed Wake Forest this weekend, outscoring them 46-13 in a 3-game sweep.

22) Texas A&M (34-21, Previous #17) - The Aggies were swept this weekend at Oklahoma.

23) Arkansas (32-20, Previous #19) – The Razorbacks have lost their last nine SEC conference games and are spiraling rapidly.

24) Georgia (35-20, Previous #21) – The Bull Dogs went 1-3 last week, including a 3-game sweep at the hands of South Carolina. Georgia has now lost 11 of their last 13 and are fading fast. Firstbasemen Rich Poythress hit 20 HRs in the BullDogs first 42 games, but only 1 in the last 13 while going .245/.286/.302.

25) Missouri (32-23, Previous #27) - The Tigers went 2-0 in a light week and enter this weekend’s conference tourney as the #3 seed.

26) Elon (37-14, Previous #25) – The Phoenix enter the Southern Conference Tournament having won 13 of their last 14.

27) Louisville (40-14, Previous #29) – The Cardinals closed out the regular season with 4 straight wins and now have won 11 of their last 12.

28) Minnesota (35-15, Previous # 24) – The Gophers took 2 of 3 at Penn State last week, but lost out on the conference championship.

29) Ohio State (39-15, Previous #30) – A sweep of Iowa gives the Buckeyes the conference title and the #1 seed in this weekend’s tournament.

30) San Diego State (37-19, Previous NR) – The Aztecs are apparently more than just Strasburg as they won 3 of 4 last week and have closed the season by winning 7 of their final 8.

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