What's Up with this SEC Tournament Bracket?


I’m really into this SEC Baseball Tournament, aren’t you? State has had two great wins over #14 Arkansas and #2 LSU (yes, I’m using different polls – but I want to make State look as good as possible).

So while I’m looking over the tourney bracket I’m thinking, man, this thing is convoluted. With the addition of two teams this year in anticipation of Texas A&M and Missouri joining the league in 2013, it’s all over the place.

LSU and South Carolina got byes in the 1st round because they won their respective divisions. That’s great, but Kentucky (4 seed) and Florida (3 seed) actually get a draw that is just as good if not better. By winning their games on Tuesday, the Cats and Gators were able to skip play on Wednesday. This means the same number of wins as the top seeds gets them to the Championship Game. What’s more, they get a day off after their first game to rest the bullpen. The top seeds, however, have to beat a better team in their first game ((see: LSU plays MSU (and gets beat!) and UK plays Ole Miss)) AND they get their first taste of tournament action against teams that have already won on Tuesday; teams that were able to acclimate with the surroundings while the tops seeds were eating their pillow mints at the hotel.

That’s not all. Getting to the semi-final round via the Winner’s bracket means you don’t play on Friday…you just watch while the Loser’s bracket duke it out. Ordinarily, you would assume your opponent from the Loser’s bracket would have to beat you twice on Saturday since your team hasn’t lost, right? That is not the case. Apparently the punishment for losing is just having to play on Friday because according to this bracket it’s do or die for both teams on Saturday. The winner advances to the Championship Game regardless of whether you came out of the Winner’s or Loser’s bracket.

Then on Sunday, it’s winner take all as well. I can live with that…if both teams come in undefeated it would turn into a best 2 out of 3 if we’re sticking to double-elimination.

What would I do to fix it – simple. Take the top 6 seeds and give them a bye. Then, have 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 play single-elimination on Tuesday to enter into an 8-team, double-elimination tournament. Then when you get to Saturday, the Winner’s bracket team must be defeated twice for the Loser’s bracket team to make it to the Championship Game.

But really, I’m in favor of the whole thing being single-elimination. And move it around. Memphis, Pearl, Nashville, Atlanta (Gwinnett – AAA Braves), etc.