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FIU locked into SBC's fourth seed

Well, this is a bit anticlimactic. FIU entered this weekend's series with FAU hoping to secure the conference crown on the last day of the season. Now, thanks to Friday night's loss and results elsewhere in the SBC, Saturday's finale is all but meaningless -- at least as far as conference seedings.

The Golden Panthers (31-21, 17-12), will either end up tied for third with Middle Tennessee State, or in a logjam in fourth. Either way, they are locked into the fourth seed in next week's SBC Tournament.

FAU's Mike Brown explains:

At this point, only FAU controls its destiny, as ULL would need assistance from FIU to win the regular season championship.  Neither FAU nor ULL can finish lower than the 2nd seed

MTSU will be the 3rd seed, as though FIU could tie, with would be a 2-way tie and MTSU holds the tiebreaker.

There could be a 3-way tie for 4th should FIU lose to FAU, ASU win over UALR, and then either USA or Troy would join the others. If FIU should lose to FAU, there will be at least a 2-way tie for 4th, with the winner of USA and Troy.  Should ASU win, this would be a 3-way tie.  FIU would take over 4th in a 2-way tie with either USA or Troy.  In a 3-way tie including Troy, it would go to the 2nd tiebreaker, and FIU would take 4th regardless of how FAU andULL finish.  In a 3-way tie including USA, FIU would take 4th on the 1st tiebreaker. Should FIU lose, ASU is the only team that could match it record that holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, that would be excluded as the winner of Troy/USA would be involved in a 3-way tie, giving FIU the 4th seed.  In short FIU is the 4th seed.

If FIU should win tomorrow, securing the 4th seed outright, and ASU win over UALR, ASU would be in a 2-way tie for 5th with either USA or Troy but would lose the tiebreaker, finishing as the 6th seed.  Should ASU lose, and WKU lose, ASU would be tied for 6th seed with the loser of Troy/USA, lose the tiebreaker, and be the 7th seed.  ASU looks to be either the 6th or 7th seed.

There could also be a 3-way tie for 6th with the loser of USA and Troy, ASU should it lose to UALR, and WKU if it should win over MTSU In a 3-way tie for 5th with USA, ASU, and WKU, regardless of how FAU and ULL finish, the seeding works out to USA 6th, ASU 7th, and WKU 8th.

If a similar 3-way tie for 6th, but with Troy, ASU and WKU, the seeding would be Troy, ASU, WKU for 6th through 8th.

Should WKU win and ASU win, WKU would tie with the loser of USA & Troy for 7th.  If ties with USA, WKU would win the tiebreaker and finish as the 7th seed.  This is the only way WKU can finish higher than the 8th seed.  If tied with Troy for 7th, WKU would be the 8th seed.

WKU needs ASU to win over UALR, Troy to win over USA, and must defeat MTSU itself to finish higher than the 8th seed.

The #1 seed will most likely face WKU, but has an outside chance to face USA.

In the current 3-way tie for 5th, Troy wins on the first tie breaker, and USA wins over ASU in the 2nd tiebreaker.

Summary:

1st and 2nd seed will be FAU and ULL, but the order is not yet decided
3rd seed is MTSU
4th seed is FIU
The winner of USA/Troy will likely be the 5th seed and face FIU in the 1st round.
ASU will finish in a tie with at least one other team
WKU is likely to finish as the 8th seed


Of course, that's not to say FIU has nothing to play for. The Golden Panthers have their eyes on more than the SBC Tournament. They want a spot in the Regionals, and taking two of three at FAU would certainly look good in the eyes of the selection committee. The Golden Panthers' RPI is 60, indicating more work needs to be done both Saturday, and next week in Murfreesboro. Plus there's the matter of a certain hitting streak...

Live-blog at 1, ladies and gents.

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this is still a big game. taking a series against fau would look good to the committee, we are currently 6-7 against top 50 RPI teams and being at 7-7 would be much better, this would lower our RPI, and if we tie for 3rd with MTSU (even though they hold tie-breaker) and play better then MTSU in tourney then we have an argument to be selected over them if they are looking at a 3rd team to select... If MTSU were to lose today and we were to win, we would probably jump them in RPI as well.

Plus, its FAU, aka the most annoying team ever... The FIU fans had that stadium rowdy yesterday. i think we were louder then the FAU fans.

We just need to keep playing good ball like we did last night. From what I saw, I think we beat them in every phase but the final score.

Keep playing great baseball and things will take care of themselves.

Agree with c-UM. One of the widely used RPI models has us at 60, and the other at 59 (http://www.boydsworld.com/baseball/rpi/currentrpi.html) A win against FAU today, thus a series win, would certainly improve our RPI's to mid 50's, maybe low 50's, and would even up our record against Top 50 teams to 7-7, prior to the SBC tournament.

If we finish 7-7 against Top 50 RPI teams, that would put us with a tie, percentage-wise with WKU (8-8), just behind FAU's current 9-8 (which could turn 9-9 if we improve dramatically, thus a 3 way tie in terms of winning percentage.

So, while I was hoping we could finish in the top 3, which would help sell the case for an at-large bid, finishing 4th in the Sun Belt this season is not particularly bad. Remember that MTSU at 3-9 (3rd place), and ULL at 3-6 (either 1st or 2nd), which currently have higher RPI's overall, have a sub .500 record against teams in the top 50's in RPI.

So, a win today would greatly enhance FIU's possibilities of earning an at-large berth, if we go deep into the Sun Belt tournament.

Let's get it!

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