Looking at South Carolina's hosting resume
Mark Kingston knew how important Sunday’s game was for his team as the Gamecocks tried to salvage a game against Mississippi State at home.
Needing a win to avoid back-to-back sweeps and a seventh straight loss, the Gamecocks walked off the Bulldogs to not only get back to even in the SEC but also keep any hope of hosting a regional alive.
“Today was a big day. I didn’t shy away from it with our guys before the game. I didn’t say anything other than this is a big game for you,” Kingston said. “If you want to be in consideration to host still, it’s a game you need to win.”
The Gamecocks (28-17, 12-12 SEC) ultimately beat Mississippi State on David Mendham’s walk-off double and because of it are still in the thick of hosting still with the first wave of potential host sites coming out this week.
The NCAA will release 20 hosting options later in the week and the Gamecocks are hoping they’ll make the first cut with the metrics stacking up in their favor.
After going 2-2 this week and dropping a series to Mississippi State, the Gamecocks are up three spots in the RPI to No. 12 and are pushing hard to be included in the first wave of announcements coming soon.
“If they’re naming 20 sites they think are the top 20 sites that deserve consideration to host,” Kingston said, “I think 12 RPI gives you a shot.”
South Carolina’s dropped its last three SEC series and are 2-7 in their last nine league games but have a resume giving the Gamecocks a chance this week to see their name in the list of 20.
The Gamecocks are 10-15 in Quad I wins and a combined 16-15 in combined Quad I and Quad II games.
Of their 17 losses, 15 have come against Quad I teams and 12 were against teams currently in the RPI top 11: two to No. 1 Arkansas, two to No. 2 Mississippi State, three to No. 3 Texas, two to No. 6 Vanderbilt and three to No. 11 Ole Miss.
South Carolina’s RPI is so high because of the win-loss record against top teams and the fact the Gamecocks are 12-2 in Quad III and Quad IV games with no series losses to teams outside of Quad I.
“The RPI’s been the most important metric for a long, long time and it’s hard to ignore a 12 RPI for a team that’s played our schedule,” Kingston said, “which in my opinion is the hardest schedule of any team all year if you look at high end opponents and the volume of those high-end opponents.”
South Carolina’s currently No. 2 in strength of schedule this season, second only to Arkansas.
“Nobody’s played a harder schedule than us and still has a pretty damn good record we have right now,” Kingston said. “I’m a little biased obviously but I think our kids have done a lot to put themselves into consideration."
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