It's no secret the defending National Champions are in danger of not even making the NCAA tournament this year. Two wins at highly-ranked Arizona State last weekend helped the Cats' chances a ton, but their fate is definitely still up in the air.
First off: NCAA Baseball Selection Show: Monday, May 27th at 9 AM Arizona time on ESPNU.
Also, Arizona basically has no shot at making the tournament if they don't sweep USC this weekend. So first things first; sweep USC. The Trojans are coming off a Tuesday win at UC-Irvine, but had lost 10 of their last 13 games before then, including being swept by UCLA and Oregon State.
"There's no NIT" - head coach Andy Lopez.
"I think if we go out and play well and do what we're supposed to do at home then who knows" continued Lopez. "You make it interesting for somebody and you know the reality is what we did last year will hopefully have a little bit of credence....In 2007, Oregon State finished 8th in the conference and they got in."
"You gotta look at RPIs...and I understand that....I'm not begging....You play yourself in the postseason or you don't play yourself in. But with (Sunday's) win, we have a light still, there's still light at the end of the tunnel, hopefully it's not a railroad train, but we'll keep playing."
Looking at RPIs: Arizona entered Thursday's games 58th according to warrennolan.com. If you want to follow the daily updates to the RPI standings, check that website out. USC is No. 114, which is why a loss essentially guarantees a missed tournament.
Arizona enters Friday at No. 61 in the RPI. Southeastern Louisiana, Ohio State and UC Santa Barbara jumped the Wildcats Thursday night.
Arizona enters Saturday at No. 61 after beating USC 4-3 in 10 innings on Friday. USC has dropped from 114 to 120.
4 PM: Arizona up to No. 60, leapfrogs Ohio State, tied with Houston. USC at 119. What will help USC move up is their strength of schedule, which is currently at No. 12. USC's schedule will help UA just a little more.
The Cats enter Sunday at No. 59 in the RPI. Gonna be honest here, don't think they get in at this point. Stanford taking the first two games against UCLA is definitely not good for Arizona, as they will finish no higher than sixth in the conference. USC has dropped to 123.
Meaningful results from this week:
For the purposes of this, I'm going to look at teams 31-60. I would think Arizona has to make it up somewhere close to the 40 spot by the end of the day Sunday to be considered. But a series sweep would put them back at .500 in PAC-12 play, which makes their resume look a lot more attractive than being 14-16.
There are only seven schools (Texas A&M, Maryland, Auburn, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wake Forest, and San Diego) that have higher strength of schedules in the 31-60 group than the Wildcats.
No. 33 Texas A&M: Eliminated from SEC tournament, but beat No. 34 Florida and No. 2 Vanderbilt before being eliminated...So there in.
No. 28 Nebraska to No. 65 Ohio State, lost to No. 13 Indiana in Big Ten Tournament Final. They will not be eligible for the tournament because they finish with a 29-30 record.
No. 36 Maryland: 11-19 in ACC play, did not make ACC tournament
No. 39 Auburn: Lost opening round game in SEC tournament to No. 24 Alabama
No. 49 Kentucky: Lost opening round game in SEC tournament to No. 19 Ole Miss
No. 46 San Diego: 3-1 In West Coast Conference tournament (won it) (beat No. 54 BYU twice, 1-1 vs. No. 51 San Francisco)
No. 57 Wake Forest: 9-20 in ACC play, did not make ACC tournament
Other schools with losses this week so far that are in front of the Cats: (Almost all of these schools are lower in the rankings Saturday morning than they were Friday morning)
No. 37 Campbell to No. 61 Liberty. Liberty wins Big South tournament. Campbell went 49-10 on the year.
No. 44 William & Mary to No. 90 Towson (twice). Towson wins Colonial. Colonial 1 seed UNC-Wilmington is No. 44 in RPI.
No. 40 Illinois to No. 111 Minnesota (twice)
No. 41 Troy to No. 27 Florida Atlantic and No. 139 Arkansas State
No. 42 Seton Hall to No. 29 Notre Dame and No. 60 Pittsburgh
No. 45 Coastal Carolina to No. 61 Liberty (twice)
No. 48 Sam Houston State to No. 53 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 80 Lamar
No. 52 Oklahoma State to No. 106 TCU and No. 66 Kansas and No. 82 West Virginia
No. 50 Bryant to No. 241 Long Island, defeated No. 147 Sacred Heart in NEC Championship game
No. 53 Southeastern Louisiana to No. 80 Lamar and No. 63 Central Arkansas. C. Arkansas wins the Southland Championship, Sam Houston State also in Southland.
No. 58 North Florida to No. 141 Kennesaw State twice. Kennesaw will play No. 88 East Tennessee State in Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship. No. 29 Mercer is also in the Atlantic Sun.
No. 54 BYU to No. 46 USD twice
No. 55 Western Carolina to No. 69 The Citadel and No. 89 Appalachian State
No. 83 Connecticut upset No. 29 Notre Dame for Big East Championship.
Also, Arizona took 2-of-3 from No. 51 San Francisco earlier in the year.
Every conference except the PAC-12 and Big West have conference tournaments. It'll be interesting. But the Cats have to sweep the Trojans.