CBB Column: Ten Series to Watch this Weekend

TravisWhitmorePitt We are heading into the last weekend of conference play for most teams across the country except for the West Coast schools who do not have postseason conference tournament. Here are ten series to watch this upcoming weekend.

10. Middle Tennessee State at Western Kentucky

Both squads are right on the bubble for an NCAA at-large berth in two weeks as in TCBB writer Colin Weber’s most recent regional projections, he has both Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky as one of the last ten out of the tourney. It would be great to see both squads make it as each of them have a true star. MTSU has Bryce Brentz who we rated as the second best player in the country. (FULL ARTICLE). WKU is led by Matt Ridings who is tied for the Hilltoppers career wins record and could go into sole possession of first place with his 35th win this weekend.

9. Arkansas at Vanderbilt

Arkansas enters this weekend’s series against Vanderbilt with a 38-15 overall record while being 16-11 in SEC play. The Razorbacks are currently on a four game losing streak with three losses to South Carolina last weekend and picking up a mid-week loss to Oklahoma. Vanderbilt on the other hand has a 39-13 record while being 15-10 in SEC play. The Commodores are currently charging for a regional host position for the NCAA Tourney while Arkansas needs to stop the recent losing streak to solidify their hosting position.

8. Virginia at Miami

The Cavaliers have a two game led over Georgia Tech and Miami. If the Cavs can take care of business this weekend, they can lock up a national seed for the NCAA tourney.  Miami most likely won’t be a National Seed but can solidify a host spot with a win this weekend and advancement past pool play in the ACC Tournament.  If they’re able to steal a series from Virginia, it will go a long way to helping their confidence heading into the postseason.

7. Auburn at Ole Miss

Both squads are looking for a marquee series victory to settle in a potential number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. We should see how the Auburn offense will handle one of the best pitchers in the country on Thursday in Drew Pomeranz.

6. South Florida at Pittsburgh

The South Florida Bulls have had a tough season this year with a 23-29 overall record but have been respectable in the Big East Conference with a 14-10 record. They make the trip up to Pittsburgh this weekend as the Bulls will look to ruin the Panthers chances to get an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Pitt needs to win the series if they expect to get the bid. It will also be the Panthers last home series at Trees Field as a new stadium will open next season.

5. James Madison at VCU

JMU holds a 0.5 game lead over VCU for first place in the CAA conference. The winner of this series will have the number 1 seed for the CAA tournament next week.

4. Oklahoma at Kansas

The Kansas Jayhawks will welcome Oklahoma to Lawrence this weekend as the Jayhawks are in need of an RPI boost. Kansas is only 27-21 in Division 1 play as the best series victory for the Jayhawks has been over Baylor or LSU. If they could pick up a series victory over the Sooners, it could go help their postseason resume out.

3. Samford at Elon

I know that this series has already started with Elon taking game 1 6-4 but both squads need these games for any chance for an at-large berth and for seeding in the Southern Conference tournament next weekend.

2. Florida at South Carolina

Both of these squads are top five teams in the country and the winner of this series will likely win the SEC Regular Season title. The Florida offense all season has been outstanding behind Austin Maddox and Preston Tucker while Sam Dyson and Blake Cooper have been strong on the mound for South Carolina.

1. Patriot League Championship Series- Bucknell at Holy Cross

The Bucknell and Holy Cross rivalry dates back to the basketball court with former head coaches Pat Flannery and Ralph Willard having multiple confrontations on the courts in the last few years. This weekend the two schools will face off on the diamond as the winner of the series will get an NCAA bid. Anytime an NCAA bid is on the line, it is a must see event especially in a one-bid conference like the Patriot League.