The underdogs nearly swept all of Sunday’s games involving CB360 top-50 teams, winning 7-of-8 to complete a 4-day stretch that saw the unranked/lower-ranked teams win 44% of the top-50 games (50-63). Those raw statistics were indicative of a trend this past week, in which numerous top teams failed to seize the moment or close things out. … As a result, plenty of positioning for the NCAAs will be done over the next few days, most of it in conference tournament action, as very little is set in stone. front-page photo courtesy of Cal State Bakersfield
One team that will be among those not playing in a conference tournament – in fact they don’t even belong to a league – is independent Cal State Bakersfield, which completed an impressive 3-game sweep of CB360 #18 Fresno State (7-4; first game played at Fresno). The Roadrunners – who have moved up to #54 in the Boyds Nation Pseudo RPI – opened the season as an NCAA contender (24-8) but faded from consideration, after a 2-11 midseason stretch. With one week to go, CSUB seemingly is back in the NCAA Tournament conversation, on the heels of a win in its series at UCLA and the sweep of Fresno. Bakersfield finishes the regular season with a midweek game at WCC leader San Francisco and then a home series vs. Big West 3rd-place team Cal Poly.
#7 Oregon State (3-4 vs. USC) and #8 Arizona State (0-3 at Washington) both were upset on Sunday, leaving the Beavers (17-7) with a narrow lead atop the the Pac-10 standings while ASU is 16-8, as is #29 UCLA (which beat #28 California, 5-2, to take that series). USC completed a quality road series upset and suddenly is tied with Arizona and Stanford for fifth place (12-12), one game behind Cal. #27 Stanford also was an upset series winner, following Sunday’s 2-1 win over #24 Arizona.
The final week in the Pac-10 will feature the following series: Oregon State at Oregon … Arizona State at home vs. UCLA … Stanford at Cal … Washington at Arizona … and Washington State at USC.
Sunday’s other upsets included another 2-1 game, as UC Riverside edged #25 UC Irvine (UCI won the series) – while Texas Tech moved up the Big 12 standings following its series-clinching win vs. #26 Oklahoma State (5-3).
All photos courtesy of the respective schools.
SUNDAY’S TOP-50 GAMES (5/22/11)
(based on the CB360 Composite National Rankings) … upsets in italics