HOOVER, Ala. – Not only will baseball action end in Hoover Sunday as the 2013 SEC Baseball Tournament comes to a close, but conference tournaments all over the country close shop as well and the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee will take over and add at-large teams to the 30 conference champions to make up the field of 64.
The Road to Omaha will begin Monday at noon ET when the committee announces the brackets, and the Southeastern Conference should be well represented in the field.
While the selection committee is behind closed doors and their decisions won’t be revealed for another 22 hours or so, after spending the week here in Hoover with watching 16 SEC Tournament games, I’m ready to predict 10 teams from the SEC will be playing for the opportunity to head to Omaha for the College World Series.
Vanderbilt and LSU were locks for regional hosting site and will also host Super Regionals, they’ve done nothing here but solidify the fact that they are two of the best teams in the country.
With an RPI of 10 and 12, respectively, Mississippi State and South Carolina should also host Regionals, giving the SEC four regional hosts. Prior to the SEC Tournament I felt the Gamecocks had their spot locked up and the Bulldogs had to play their way into it. Mississippi State did just that.
South Carolina lost two games quickly in Hoover and hightailed it back to Columbia, S.C. I don’t think this hurts the Gamecocks, but it’s going to be close. If the SEC only lands three teams as Regional hosts, it’ll be Vanderbilt, LSU and Mississippi State.
Ole Miss, Arkansas and Alabama should be locked in as two seeds somewhere. For the Rebels and Razorbacks this was almost a foregone conclusion before the tournament. Alabama played well at the SEC Tournament and might have played its way into a two seed. It’s going to be close. The Crimson Tide has an RPI of 24.
Texas A&M showed up at its first SEC Baseball Tournament and played its way into the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies beat Florida and top seed Vanderbilt before bowing out on Friday. Their RPI is 33 right now and should be a three seed somewhere. This is a perfect example of a team using its conference tournament to its advantage.
Florida and Auburn both lost on Day 1 of the SEC Tournament. But the Gators and Tigers are doing pretty well with an RPI of 34 and 39, respectively. I expect both of them to land in the NCAA Tournament as three seeds.