Sapakoff: Gamecocks project as national seed, Clemson as NCAA Regional host

South Carolina's Joey Pankake (9) gathers up a ground ball during the South Carolina-Elon baseball game Saturday. COLUMBIA,SC,2/25/12 Photo by TIM DOMINICK,,©The State Media Co.*

More than two decades into Post and Courier college baseball projecting fun and picking out the top two teams for the NCAA Tournament has never been easier.

Vanderbilt and North Carolina, or vice versa, look like locks when the 64-team field is set on May 27.

Sorting out the other six national seeds and Regional hosts?

Not so simple.

A shaky snapshot prediction with two weeks left:

National seeds


North Carolina



Florida State

Oregon State

N.C. State

South Carolina

Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton and Mississippi State are ahead of the Gamecocks on the new Ratings Percentage Index charts.

But South Carolina can take two of three at Mississippi State this weekend, and have its statisticians convince the selection committee that injuries impacted some of the loses. Caveats: Mississippi State is one of the toughest places to win in college baseball and the injury argument works a lot better with the basketball committee.

The Oregon State-Oregon series this weekend is huge for both teams, and South Carolina is hoping one sweeps the other.

Regional hosts

The eight national seeds.

And …

Mississippi State

Oregon State


Cal State Fullerton

South Alabama

Virginia Tech



Clemson with two wins at Florida State this weekend vaults into the national seed discussion, depending on what happens elsewhere.

The committee loves to spread college baseball interest, and Bloomington, Ind., might get a deserved Regional hug.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff.