The Michigan St. Spartans have a long wait until noon on Monday when the NCAA unveils the 2012 baseball tournament field. The Spartans have a strong RPI of 45 for a northern team and have impressive wins over Baylor and Purdue, who will both host NCAA regionals, but a fifth place regular season finish in the Big Ten has put the Spartans' hopes in doubt.
Michigan State has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1979, and after coming close last year a series of close losses, including an extra inning loss to Indiana yesterday, Michigan State cannot feel safe. Perfect Game is very skeptical of the Spartans' position:
Michigan State -- The Spartans are one of those extremely tough teams to figure out come Selection Monday. MSU played a decent non-conference schedule and racked up 37 wins with an RPI of 45. However, it went just 2-2 at the Big Ten tournament and is 5-5 in its last 10 games. The Spartans are one of those northern teams that could easily get into the field, but it's always tough to gauge exactly what the committee is thinking.
Baseball America doesn't think the Spartans will measure up:
The picture is similar in the Big Ten, as top-seeded Purdue advanced to the title round with a 3-0 win against Indiana. The Indiana-Michigan State winner Saturday must beat the Boilermakers twice to capture the automatic bid and make the Big Ten a two-bid league. That's a tall order. Assuming the Boilermakers win the tournament, the Big Ten will likely be a one-bid league, as Michigan State's fifth-place finish in the regular season torpedoes its case, despite a bubble-caliber RPI (No. 43).
The final answer will come Monday at noon on ESPNU