It was a big weekend for a few teams looking to strengthen their cases for one of the eight national seeds as we are now within a month of the regional field being announced.
Here’s a look at how I have the Top 16 this week, with some shifting around from where everyone was ranked last week.
1. LSU Tigers (37-7, Prev. 1)
LSU hosted former No. 2 Texas A&M, and walked away with a series win. The rest of their regular season schedule bodes well, getting struggling teams in Mississippi State and South Carolina, with a decent Missouri squad sandwiched in between. LSU’s in good shape to hang on to this top spot through Selection Monday.
2. UCLA Bruins (31-9, Prev. 3)
UCLA did drop a game against Stanford this weekend, but bounced back with two dominating wins to ultimately take home the series. This is their week off from Pac-12 competition, but will travel to another ranked team in Arizona State next weekend.
3. Louisville Cardinals (34-10, Prev. 4)
Unlike the top two teams, the Cardinals got a weekend sweep, albeit against Bethune-Cookman. A couple of midweek games with Kentucky and a Clemson series are on deck for Louisville, which could prove to be tough.
4. Texas A&M Aggies (37-7, Prev. 2)
The Aggies did not look particularly impressive in the first two games of that LSU series, and have lost two weekend series in a row now. There’s no reason they don’t get back on track over the final three weeks of the regular season with series against Tennessee, South Carolina and Ole Miss remaining.
5. Florida State Seminoles (33-13, Prev. 7)
FSU picked up a big road series win, taking two-of-three in Coral Gables from Miami. The Seminoles take a break from ACC play this weekend by hosting Coastal Carolina, but in two weeks, they take on the No. 3 Cardinals on the road.
6. TCU Horned Frogs (34-8, Prev. 9)
The Horned Frogs picked up a series sweep over a reeling Texas squad, and have an intriguing midweek game vs. Dallas Baptist before three games at West Virginia. TCU already had a win over DBU this season, and also has a single win over UCLA, and a series win over Arizona State among some other big weekends.
7. Illinois Illini (36-6-1, Prev. 10)
Illinois has won 17 straight games, which is a school record. They have a huge weekend as far as Big Ten baseball goes by travelling to Ohio State. If the win streak is still alive after a trip to Columbus, Illinois should be viewed as a legitimate threat heading down the stretch.
8. Florida Gators (33-12, Prev. 5)
It was a bad weekend for Florida, dropping two games at home to Kentucky. They’ll have to rebound with a trip to Athens to take on Georgia, which is no easy task.
9. UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (31-10, Prev. 11)
UCSB made the long trip to Hawaii, and all three games were a shutout. Unfortunately, the Gauchos were the victims of the shutout in the middle game, losing 1-0. But they won the other two games, each by a score of 5-0. Very unique series there. The Gauchos host UC-Davis this weekend.
10. USC Trojans (30-12, Prev. 6)
The Trojans dropped a series at Oregon State this weekend, but this is more about the Beavers starting to hit their stride more than USC failing at anything. USC will have a nice opportunity to respond with a sweep as they travel to Salt Lake City to take on the worst team in the Pac-12 in Utah.
11. Vanderbilt Commodores (33-12, Prev. 13)
A dominating sweep of Missouri has the Commodores back on track after a bad weekend against South Carolina. Next up is a date with those pesky Kentucky Wildcats before hosting Florida.
12. Arizona State Sun Devils (28-12, Prev. 12)
ASU is having some bullpen issues, most notably with closer Ryan Burr. This showed its ugly head on Saturday against Tennessee Tech, as the Devils dropped that game, which is inexcusable. ASU has only played one of the top teams in the Pac-12 so far this year, so the end of their season is going to be interesting.
13. Miami (FL) Hurricanes (31-13, Prev. 8)
A brutal loss on Friday against Florida State in 17 innings really hurt this team, even though they closed that series out with a 12-0 win. They don’t really have any important games before the ACC Tournament, so they’ll have to win games, and win them big to keep their regional hosting dreams alive.
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys (29-14, Prev. 14)
OSU went to Texas Tech and took two-of-three. A big weekend for them coming up with three games against the Oklahoma Sooners.
15. Dallas Baptist Patriots (32-9, Prev. 16)
DBU took care of business by sweeping Southern Illinois. This midweek game vs. TCU is the biggest game they have remaining, along with a game against Oklahoma State on May 12th. The Patriots continue to be ranked 2nd in the RPI, which is so weird and so interesting.
16. Florida Atlantic Owls (33-10, Prev. NR)
FAU moves into the top 16 thanks to a series win over Old Dominion. Unfortunately, they had a game against Miami washed out, but will play Miami the same day Dallas Baptist plays OK State. And that comes after a series with Rice, which is FAU’s toughest weekend test remaining.
Dropped out: Missouri Tigers (26-18)
Also considered: Rice (29-16), Missouri State (30-10), College of Charleston (32-9), Iowa (30-11)
*Featured Photo (above) credit to LSUSports.net