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The Baseball Bubble, Plus Other Items

-- James's blog has a new name and a new address: Riddick & Reynolds. And sure, the amenities are nice, but I wish he'd just expanded the old place and added some luxury suites.

-- Here's a good, comprehensive breakdown of the NCAA baseball bubble:

On the other hand, UNC did beat NC State two out of three games (in Chapel Hill). The Wolfpack has an RPI of 49, not quite in UNC’s range, thanks to a strength of schedule of only 77 (per Warren Nolan). By comparison, UNC has a SOS of 15 and BC 16, typical of most ACC teams (Miami has the #1 SOS in the nation; UVA is 9th, Clemson 11th).

The records for the two schools against the top 50 in the RPI are similar. Both are better than Boston College (8-20 against the top 50). BC, which is only 29-26 overall and has an RPI of 45, would be a marginal at-large candidate but for its quality schedule and, of course, its sweep of NC State in Raleigh.

What NC State does have to offer for its consideration is series wins against UVA and Georgia Tech. That’s impressive, but it’s probably not enough to get the Pack an at-large berth on its own.

I suspect that UNC will get in, despite not making the ACC tournament, but it will be close. BC and NC State both need to do some damage in the ACC tourney, which is a pool play event, meaning each team will play at least three games. The Eagles and Wolfpack each need to win at least twice.

Sounds about right to me; based on all of the projections and discussion I've seen, I don't think there is any question we need to win at least two games this week. I'm not sure why the SOS is such a liability this season; it's never been a problem for Avent's tournament-caliber teams in the past. Bad luck, perhaps, with the strong teams that are on the schedule year after year posting unimpressive seasons.

-- The Poulks and Kyle Wilson were named to the All-ACC team. All three are seniors, and we're definitely going to miss their production next year. Wilson is getting on base at a .505 clip and is an efficient if infrequent base stealer, which makes him an ideal leadoff man. Drew Poulk crushed the ball in league play to the tune of .378/.413/.677. But State's offense doesn't figure to lose much more beyond those three. Chris Schaeffer is the only key draft-eligible hitter that could leave early. With a core of Schaeffer, Maynard, Ciencin, Riggins, Senay, and Canela, we should be fine in 2011. Cory Mazzoni will be back, and Jake Buchanan hopefully will be as well.

-- Here's the official release regarding the Charleston Classic. Tough OOC schedule indeed.

-- Dan Wiederer writes about CJ Leslie and the excitement surrounding the recruiting class, with some quotes from Larry Harris:

As far as Leslie's occasional brooding, the irritated faces he sometimes makes at teammates, the way he grows visibly flustered when things aren't going well?

"A lot of kids are like that these days," Harris said. "I think we've gotten to a point where these high-level kids have so much pressure to perform - some of it self-imposed. Plus on top of that, we're at a point where every facial expression a kid has or any gesture he makes is reported across the country. It wasn't like that when I was growing up."

Harris laughed.

"When I was playing, you'd go in the locker room, your mom would smack you in the ass and that was that. I feel bad now for kids like C.J. who have so much attention and spotlight on them that they can't be human beings, can't be kids. I've got three kids. And I know that when they get frustrated they make faces. C.J. will have to learn to deal with that a little bit more. But that's what we're here for."

I refuse to worry about this issue. Or, rather, I'm too excited to seriously consider it.

-- All points are not created equal. Thoughts from Ken Pomeroy on foul trouble, playing time, and win probability. I wish he'd post more often.

-- Bud @ Tomahawk Nation breaks down Phil Steele's All-ACC selections:

Not having Christian Ponder at the top would instantly discredit the entire list, so Phil is good there. Kudos also to Phil for being one of the few to realize how well Tyrod Taylor played last year. But after that it gets murky. Jacory Harris should not be on the list based on last year's performance (6th in ACC passer rating, led the conference in interceptions, etc.). By putting Harris third, Phil is asserting that he will have a huge year. That's fine by me, but what about other quarterbacks who have already had those big years? I'm talking about Russell Wilson. Phil might say he didn't have room, but Wilson led the conference in touchdowns, was 4th in passer rating among returning QBs, and he offers something Harris does not: the ground threat. Perhaps putting Nesbitt as the 2nd-team running back would be the better option. After all, Nesbitt had the 3rd most carries in the ACC. Phil has previously shown that he will move guys around at different positions (see DT/ DE). Why then, would he not be willing to list Josh Nesbitt at running back? Leaving Russell Wilson off the list is ridiculous.