Something Just Isn't Right about how Baseball Selects the NCAA Tournament


I’m not sure I really agree with how the NCAA baseball tournament is selected, and formatted. MSU was sent to the #3 overall seed’s Regional (Florida State). That’s not really fair to either team is it? Mississippi State ended the year ranked #14 by Baseball America. If an ‘S’ curve was done, FSU would be playing the 30th ranked team and MSU would be hosting the 19th ranked team.

But throw logic out the window and do everything through a RPI prism, throw in some politics and concentrate on geographical considerations and there you have it…

How there are 5 ACC teams, 4 PAC 12 teams and only 3 SEC teams hosting I don’t know. The conference that is dominating everyone is getting put down by folks with SEC-fatigue. Unfortunately, the NCAA offices are in Indianapolis, Indiana.

But whoever you’re matched up with, you have to beat them. And if you’re going to be a champion, you have to beat everyone I guess. So that brings me to my next point…the format.

A 4-team, double elimination Regional is not the way to go. Take UCLA, the #2 overall seed, has to face one of the top pitchers in the country when they play Creighton in Game 1. Is the rest of Creighton’s team really good enough to compete with UCLA – probably not. But for one game they can throw their ace and upset the Bruins to send them into the loser’s bracket where they’d have to win 4 in a row to advance. After playing a season full of baseball, you get beat by one guy? That’s baseball, but that’s why the 4-team double elimination Regional is no good.

I like schools hosting Regionals…and I like the 4-team format. I’d just like to see it start on Wednesday with best 2 out of 3. Take Mississippi State’s bracket. I’d like to see Game 1 vs. Samford, in Tallahassee, on Wednesday; Game 2 on Thursday and Game 3 if necessary on Friday. Say the Bulldogs and Seminoles advance, they’d play Game 1 on Saturday and Game 2 on Sunday. If a Game 3 is necessary then skip Monday and play it on Tuesday…winner moves on to the Super Regional the next Friday.

I think this would be the best way to go because you would not be left for dead after facing one great pitcher from a lesser ‘team’. And if the concern is that you’ll be using the 4th and 5th starters for the 2nd 3-game series, then sweep the first one and use your 3rd and 4th starters! If the second, and ‘bigger’ series goes to a Game 3, then both teams can throw their ace on 5 days rest…and he could be ready for Game 3 of a Super Regional on 4 days rest.

Anyway, I’m just throwing stuff out there. At least if the selection process would be tinkered with a little I think it would be better. Bottom line, MSU is headed to Tallahassee to face Samford on Friday morning/afternoon…I’m ready.