WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The NCAA baseball tournament regions are set, and 64 teams will be playing postseason baseball this coming weekend.
Kansas State University (K-State) is not one of them.
While numerous outlets had the Wildcats safely in the projected field of 64, with D1Baseball projecting them to play against Vanderbilt in the Nashville Regional, the selection committee opted against letting Kansas State compete.
K-State head coach Pete Hughes felt especially strongly about his team not advancing and issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Division I Baseball Committee and the system failed K-State, our program, and our seniors,” Hughes’ statement reads. “It was obvious that the committee over-emphasized the RPI – a flawed metric. The regional disparities of the RPI are glaring and still were used as a tool to form, shape, and make decisions.
“The most important criteria, that has ‘zero’ grey area is head-to-head competition. It’s definitive — someone wins and someone loses. We were left out in place of two teams that we finished ahead of in overall conference play and also two teams we beat head-to-head. Why play the games if the records are not valued? When did we stop rewarding winning? It’s inexplicable and disappointing. Our players and community deserved better.”
The RPI Hughes refers to is the Rating Percentage Index, which uses multiple inputs to rank teams based on a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule. K-State’s RPI ranked 55th nationally.
The Wildcats finished the season with an overall record of 35-24 and 13-11 in conference. The final moments for K-State in the 2023 season ended in a loss to TCU in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. Their RPI ranked 55th nationally.