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Why UConn Baseball Missed the NCAA Tournament Field

The Huskies deserved a bid but were definitely on the bubble heading into the selection show.

Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball was left out of the NCAA Tournament field on Monday. The Huskies were the second team out, behind only Miami (FL). Teams like Oklahoma State and Rice shrunk the number of bids for at-large contenders winning their conference tournaments.

There is a clear-cut reason why the Huskies and their 33-25 record were left out of the tournament: midweek contests.

In the Northeast, there are only a few RPI top-100 teams, compared to other places where quality regional opponents are more plentiful. Because of this wide range and the need to fill the schedule, each midweek game is either a rare chance to score a quality win or a contest which puts the RPI severely at risk in the event of a loss.

The Huskies played 11 midweeks and had three canceled. The average RPI of the 11 teams they played was 177.64, and they posted a disappointing record of 6-5, losing to Bryant (160th in RPI), Hartford (183rd), Northeastern (164th), Sacred Heart (230th) and Santa Clara (261st). UConn only lost three other games to sub-100 teams, two of which were the final game of a series that the Huskies were trying to sweep.

Two UConn games were washed out by weather, against Boston College (84th) and Yale (48th), the only top-100 teams in New England other than Rhode Island (69th), with whom the Huskies split a two-game home-and-home series.

As we have mentioned before, however, there is also, for some reason, a lack of respect shown towards the American Athletic Conference. It was the 4th-best conference in RPI and yet conferences below it, such as the Big Ten, had more bids. The committee also didn't show much respect for the 40 road games Jim Penders’ squad played.

Ultimately, if UConn could have put away teams like Northeastern and Santa Clara, or gotten a chance to play some of the better non-conference teams originally on the schedule, the Huskies would probably be traveling to their NCAA Tournament regional right now.