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NCAA Bubble Watch: Major Publications Have Eagles Dancing Again

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Both Baseball America and D1Baseball think they've done enough as of this week. Let's hope it holds for another few days.

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Following their series victory of Georgia Tech last weekend, both major publications in college baseball once again have Boston College on the right side of the bubble for their NCAA hopes and dreams. Baseball America and D1Baseball.com both list the Eagles as an at-large bid prior to the ACC Tournament.

Because the Eagles lost to a team inside the bracket, they stand to not be passed in the ACC pecking order as originally expected. The only wild card is how the committee would view North Carolina, who is among the first four out of the tournament.

According to Baseball America, the Eagles are safely in as an at-large bid, with their eighth place finish helping push them off the list of last four teams in. Wake Forest, on the other hand, was on that list, though a win over Duke in the ACC first round almost assuredly helped their case.

In the BA Field of 64, BC would play as the #3 seed in the Starkville, Mississippi regional. They would play in a regional hosted by Mississippi State, a team that would acquire the #5 national seed and have the inside track to host a Super Regional.

The Eagles would play their first round game against second-seeded UC Santa Barbara. Although only 12-9 in conference play entering this week, UCSB has 36 wins, which would earn them a trip east. They play in the Big West Conference, a league that does not sponsor a league tournament. They play UC Riverside this weekend.

The #4 seed in the bracket would be Alabama State, who clinched a trip to the tournament by winning the SWAC.

D1Baseball also sends the Eagles to the state of Mississippi, but it's for a date with a regional hosted by Ole Miss instead of MSU. BC, again a #3 seed, would play Southern Mississippi, a team that was going to host a regional as recently as a couple of weeks ago. USM has now dropped to a #2 seed and would come across the state to play at the home of the Rebels. The #4 seed in this bracket is also Alabama State.

The main difference for BC in the two polls would be the opposing bracket. Coming out of a national seeded bracket, BC would have a much tougher draw. The Starkville bracket opposite Mississippi State would be hosted by NC State in Raleigh and feature East Carolina, Kentucky, and Rhode Island.

The Ole Miss projection would have the Eagles in a slightly easier draw, but the Super Regional bracket would draw the #3 national seed and ACC rival Louisville. UC Santa Barbara would still be involved, only playing the other bracket against Ohio State, while the Cardinals host and play SE Missouri State.

BC defeated both NC State and Louisville during the regular season, two of their six series victories.

Perhaps the best sign for the Eagles is that they aren't among the last teams in or out in either poll. That would mean that they're assured of a slot regardless of what happened this week, with the ACC pecking order instead weighing Wake Forest or North Carolina as the 10th team. It would also mean that the loss to Georgia Tech only helped the Yellow Jackets cause moreso than hurt the Eagles.

With Wake Forest competing in pool play, it's entirely possible that UNC could earn an 11th bid as opposed to vaulting over a team like BC.

In terms of other conferences to keep an eye on, it would be worth rooting against a couple of different leagues this week. The Big East is front and center with a team like Creighton, but a team quickly moving up tournament boards is Connecticut. UConn defeated the Eagles earlier in the year, and they entered the AAC Tournament playing some of their best baseball all year. The #3 seed in their conference tournament, their RPI isn't helping them, but a deep run through the conference tournament (where the top two seeds are Houston and Tulane) might not hurt the Huskies' cause.