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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Baseball

NCAA leaves Cougars out of tournament


A late-season push by Todd Whitting’s Cougars was not enough to earn a spot in regional play | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

A win was all the team needed on Sunday to solidify a coveted spot in the regional by way of a conference championship, but they instead suffered a crushing 7-2 defeat to the University of Connecticut Huskies and now find themselves on the outside looking in.

Only 64 teams can make the NCAA Baseball postseason, and 31 of those teams qualify by way of winning their respective conference’s championship game. With only 33 spots remaining after conference titles have been decided, the NCAA selection committee must come together to determine the most deserving teams.

Despite winning 36 of their 59 games–a mark better than 22 of the teams competing in this years tournament–the committee did not feel as though enough of the Cougars wins came against formidable opponents.

The Cougars went just 8-10 against ranked opponents, a mark that the selection committee takes into close consideration when deciding teams merit.

Also not helping the Cougars case was losing to opponents such as the University of Texas at San Antonio,  McNeese State University and going 0-4 against the UConn Huskies.

The Rating Percentage Index, or RPI, is an important method of ranking college teams based on a team’s wins and losses while taking into consideration the strength of the opponent. The Cougars finished the season ranked as the 58th team by RPI, which put them right on the bubble. Had Houston been able to scratch together a few more impressive wins or a fewer bad losses, they would likely be preparing for a postseason game this week.

Although not a bad record, 36-23 marks the worst record baseball has had since going 18-35-1 in the 2012 season.

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