The Arizona Wildcats salvaged the final game of the regular season thanks to a huge home run from Steve Selsky and the work of four pitchers.
Selsky’s game-winning (and potentially season-saving) shot came with two outs in the 6th inning. Vincent Littleman, Nick Cunningham, Stephen Manthei and Bryce Bandilla combined to limit Oregon State to a single run in the 3-1 victory.
Now things get interesting.
Here are the final Pac-10 standings:
The RPI numbers are the estimates going into Sunday’s games.
I didn’t think the USC/Washington series mattered but it is good that the Trojans took the final two games of the series to leave the Huskies alone in 9th place. It cleans up the standings so the top eight teams are clearly the top eight teams and all can argue they deserve a bid.
Do they all deserve a bid? ASU and UCLA are officially in as they have already been announced as regional hosts. Washington State is alone in third place with a top-30 RPI. The Cougars are a lock.
After that? This is where the human element of a particular selection committee comes in. Of the five Pac-10 bubble teams the two with the best RPI have the worst conference record and the two with the lowest RPI have the best conference record.
If I had to rank the five teams based on their likelihood of getting a bid I’d go with Stanford, Oregon, OSU, Arizona and Cal. Stanford has the most wins against the RPI top-50. The Beavers and Wildcats have an almost identical profile with OSU getting the advantage due to head-to-head and a better finish. If the league only gets seven in the odd man out should be Cal. Some will agree but others will not.
We’ll see how this story ends in just a few hours as the field of 64 is revealed at 9:30 a.m. Arizona/Pacific time Monday morning.
All eight would be great.