We’ve reached the point in the College Baseball season where teams face a must-win situation, or they either lose the right to host a regional or could miss the NCAA Tournament altogether. Two teams in particular out of the Southeastern Conference stick out as two teams who have the most to lose with just three weeks left to play before the postseason begins in Hoover.
Photo Credits: Kentucky Baseball
We’ll start by heading to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Kentucky Wildcats are barely hanging by a thread to make an at-large NCAA Tournament appearance. Kentucky has been one of the most difficult teams in the SEC to figure out this season. According to D1baseball.com, Kentucky is one of the last five teams out of the NCAA Tournament. However, that could all change this weekend as the Wildcats get ready to host a top 10 program in the Florida Gators.
Kentucky started the series on Thursday night with a massive 7-5 win over the Gators. For Kentucky to stay in contention for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, they have got to find a way to take at least two out of three this weekend against Florida and find a way to win one or both of the remaining series against South Carolina or Vanderbilt. If Kentucky were to do that over the next three weeks, the NCAA selection committee would have no choice but to extend an invitation to the NCAA Tournament to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Heading south to Oxford, Mississippi, where the Ole Miss Rebels are fighting like heck to earn a spot to host a regional at Swayze Field during the first week of June. This year, Ole Miss, like many other top-tier programs, doesn’t have the luxury of having the Conference Tournaments to pad their resumes. With Covid, the Regional Sites will be announced on Monday with three weeks in the season. This is different than previous years, where the regional sites weren’t announced until Memorial Day before the conference tournaments.
This is why this weekend for Ole Miss is so crucial. The Rebels will travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M. In all honesty, a series win this weekend would secure Ole Miss a bid to host at least a regional and maybe even lock up a top-eight seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Ole Miss will return home next weekend to host the Vanderbilt Commodores at Swayze Field.
Given the craziness of this year, anything can happen this weekend but, both Ole Miss and Kentucky have got to do everything they can to find series wins this weekend.