April 10, 2012

Low RPI puts Tulane in terrible shape

After being one-hit by Rice on Saturday, Tulane likely is down to one chance to end its three-year postseason drought in baseball. Even though three-fourths of the Conference USA schedule remains, the Green Wave will have to win the league tournament in Jackson, Miss. and earn an automatic bid.

Don't believe me? Then how about Aaron Fitt, the Baseball America college baseball writer who does this for a living? He led off his weekly chat on Monday by answering a question about Tulane's postseason prospects.

"The reality for Tulane is that is going to have to win the C-USA tournament in order to make a regional," Fitt wrote. Its RPI is outside the top 100, and this weekend was really critical for the Green Wave to have a shot at an at-large. I think Tulane is a solid all-around club, but it just isn't special."

The RPI is the killer. The NCAA selection committee has a history of slavish adherence to that formula, and Tulane is lower than it has almost ever been at 108 despite ranking 38th nationally in winning percentage with a 21-10 record.

Last year, when the Wave went 31-26 overall and 10-14 in C-USA, it finished 79th in the RPI according to WarrenNolan.com.

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