INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As expected, the NCAA baseball field of 64 did not include West Virginia, and the Big 12 advanced only three teams to regionals, a record low for the conference.
Big 12 tournament champion Oklahoma (40-19) and regular-season champ Kansas State (41-17) have been considered NCAA locks for weeks. Oklahoma State (39-17) also made the field as an at-large despite losing all three games at the league tournament.
The last of OSU’s losses was Saturday night’s 6-5 setback to West Virginia (33-26), which temporarily kept the Mountaineers’ postseason hopes alive. Hours later, however, Kansas defeated TCU to eliminate WVU from the Big 12 tournament title game, which the Jayhawks (34-25) ultimately lost to Oklahoma 7-2 on Sunday.
The Big 12 had never sent fewer than four teams to the NCAA regionals. Neither Kansas or West Virginia were among the last 10 teams left out of the NCAAs, according to projections at Mark Etheridge at SEBaseball.com.
WVU’s final RPI was 86, according to Boyd Nation’s psuedo index, while Kansas finished at No. 69. The lowest two at-large RPI teams selected were No. 50 San Francisco (34-22) and No. 51 New Mexico (37-20).
West Virginia figured it needed to win the Big 12 tournament to reach the NCAAs for the first time since 1996. After being eliminated late Saturday night, several Mountaineers took to Twitter, resigned their surprising season was finished:
Great season… Thanks to everyone who supported us this year… Unfinished business for next year
— harrison musgrave (@hmusky15) May 26, 2013
Well with a TCU loss tonight our season has officially come to an end. Been a heck of a ride and an amazing team to do it with #WVUBaseball
— Dykxy8 (@Dykxy8) May 26, 2013