NC State lost ground of the last few weeks on several teams it is competing with for a regional hosting opportunity. That'll happen when you close out the season 3-7, even if every single one of those games came against NCAA tournament teams.
Within the ACC, Clemson's surge has done the Pack no favors. The Tigers have won eight straight an nine of 10 to move past the Wolfpack and lock themselves into a hosting spot.
Florida State, which had also been direct competition with NC State, holds a 2-0 record against the Pack and has had a much better ACC tournament showing.
The locks for a hosting slot or national seed include the following teams: Louisville, Miami, LSU, Florida, Mississippi State, Clemson, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Florida State.
That's 11 spots accounted for, with five more to fill. D1baseball.com replaced NC State with Coastal Carolina as a regional host in its tournament projections on Friday. They also have Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Virginia hosting.
Let's look at the resumes of those teams and how they compare to the Pack's.
|W-L||RPI||SOS||vs. RPI top 50||OOC RPI||OOC SOS||ISR||Last 10|
|NC State||35-20 (15-13)||10||2||19-17||6||25||14||3-7|
|Arizona State||34-19 (16-12)||33||44||7-9||34||70||21||6-4|
NC State does not have the most impressive win-loss record in comparison to the rest of these teams, but State does have the second-toughest schedule in the country and has played a LOT more games against the RPI top 50 than these other potential host squads. The only college baseball team with more top-50 wins is Louisville (20).
NC State has a series win against Virginia this season, and it also has a win over Coastal Carolina.
But there is the matter of that finish to the season. Some of these schools have been smoking hot down the stretch. Coastal Carolina won both the Big South regular season and tournament titles. Louisiana-Lafayette tied for the regular season Sun Belt title and can take the tournament on Sunday.
State's the only team in the group to finish with a losing record in its last 10 games, and that factor might be a difference-maker, even though the Pack has some clear edges in multiple categories. There is also the matter of how the selection committee wants to allocate host sites--they'd prefer not to cluster everything in the SEC and ACC, and more generally, not put all of the host sites in the southeast. That also could work against NC State. It has before.