NCAA Baseball Tournament Projections: May 17th

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After Louisville’s 9-5 loss to Indiana on Tuesday, the Cardinals look to finish their regular season with a weekend series against Notre Dame. #25 Louisville (37-16) then has one last chance to bolster their resume with the ACC Tournament next week, looking to win their first conference tournament since 2009.

Here’s a look at where Louisville currently sits in NCAA Tournament projections, and what they can do in the final weeks to improve their resume.

Where Louisville Currently Sits

D1Baseball currently has U of Las the #2 seed in Minnesota’s regional, along with the Washington Huskies (25-22) and Bryant Bulldogs (29-20-1). Baseball America also has Louisville as the #2 seed but heading to Georgia’s regional, paired with the Bulldogs along with the Troy Trojans (36-17) and Canisius Golden Griffins (28-20).

It was projected for a while that Louisville would end up in a regional hosted by either Kentucky or Indiana. But Kentucky falling out of the top 16 in the polls, coupled with Indiana losing five of their last eight games, has caused this projection to fall apart. Currently, Kentucky is a projected 2-seed in North Carolina’s regional (per D1baseball), with the Hoosiers also a 2-seed in the Clemson regional. It would take a huge run in their conference tournaments for Kentucky and/or Indiana to earn a regional host bid. If that were to happen, it would stand to reason Louisville would be paired with either in that scenario. It’s not likely anymore that you’ll see all three teams lumped together in one pod, no matter how enticing that sounds on paper.

Louisville is definitely safe as an at-large bid. The Cardinals are currently ranked 29th in the RPI and have an 8-10 record against ranked opponents, including wins over projected hosts North Carolina & Texas Tech.

Chances of Hosting an NCAA Regional

At this point in the season, Louisville’s odds of hosting a regional are very slim, if not impossible. It would take a lot of teams falling ahead of them and Louisville simultaneously winning the ACC Tournament in very convincing fashion to give them even a shot at hosting a regional.

However, a strong finish before the NCAA Tournament could give Louisville a more favorable destination in their pod selection. Ideally, that would mean Louisville sweeps Notre Dame this weekend and has a strong showing in the ACC Tournament, getting to the semifinals or even the championship game. Beating one or two ranked teams along the way would certainly help U of L’s resume. But the Cardinals have only won their conference tournament twice (2008 & 2009), and the ACC remains one of the premier conferences in college baseball, making it a tough challenge for Louisville next week.

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