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May 26, 2013
A week ago, fresh off series wins against N.C. State and Clemson, Florida State seemed all but a lock for a national seed in this week's NCAA Tournament.
Now the picture isn't so rosy.
The Seminoles have lost four straight games - one at UNC on Monday and an 0-3 trip in the ACC Tournament - and now their standing is in jeopardy.
Already a lock to host the regional round this weekend, Florida State (44-15) will have to wait until Noon on Monday (ESPNU) to see if it can hang on to one of the national seeds. Being one of the eight national seeds guarantees home field through the NCAA Super Regionals.
To add to the sting of four losses, all have come in crunch time. On Monday, UNC plated the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth to win 4-3. Then in Durham, N.C., the Yellow Jackets and Hokies hit ninth-inning home runs to win. Virginia capped the nightmare with a 12th-inning, three-run blast on Saturday to send FSU home winless. FSU has lost seven straight ACC Tournament games dating back to 2011.
According to the experts, FSU's standing as a national seed could go either way.
Perfect Game's Kendall Rogers has moved FSU out of the national seed line and replaced them with N.C. State in his early Sunday projection. Despite FSU taking two of three games in Raleigh, the Wolfpack are 2-1 in the ACC Tournament including a marathon 18-inning loss to UNC on Saturday night (/Sunday morning). With the win, UNC advanced to Sunday's ACC Championship game at 1 p.m. ET.
"The Seminoles still have a solid overall resume and head-to-head series win against the Wolfpack. However, they're 4-6 in their last 10 games - a crucial metric the NCAA Selection Committee looks at - along with a 14-15 record vs. RPI Top 50 and 11-9 mark on the road this spring," Rogers wrote. "Additionally, the Seminoles went 0-4 this week, including three losses at the ACC tournament.
"In a perfect world, I'd like to use the head-to-head metric as the go-to in this situation, but Florida State's skid in the last week is too much to overcome."
However, as of Sunday morning, Baseball America's Aaron Fitt is calling for the ACC to land four of the top eight seeds with FSU taking the eighth and final spot over Indiana.
"We hear from multiple sources that the committee is not placing much emphasis on conference tournaments, and that it will not balk at the prospect of having four national seeds from the same conference," Fitt wrote. "The Seminoles do have more quality wins (14-15 vs. the top 50, 24-15 vs. the top 100) than the (Indiana) Hoosiers (9-9 vs. the top 50, 14-11 vs. the top 100), and they have a No. 18 strength of schedule, compared to Indiana's No. 70 SOS. Ultimately, those will be the deciding factors."
While FSU is a lock to host a regional this weekend, the location of the super regional round has told the story. Since the round debuted in 1999, FSU has hosted the super regionals eight times and advanced to Omaha five times. FSU has also played in three super regional series on the road. They are 0-3 on those trips.
However, totaling regional and super regional play, the Seminoles are 6-8 in NCAA tournament road games.
Despite the ugly week, FSU coach Mike Martin says he'll have his team ready for any seed, any venue.
"We all understand, our Seminole Nation understands, it is disappointing, but our season begins Friday night," Martin said after the UVA loss on Saturday. "What we've been working on since August begins Friday night. That's the bottom line. You credit all the teams that beat us; they earned every one of them. We'll be ready to go on Friday night, whoever it is, wherever we play."
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