How the SEC Tournament Affects State

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The SEC Tournament is underway in Hoover, Alabama and MSU is the #5 seed playing #12 seeded Missouri tonight at approximately 8:00. The week of this baseball tournament is always exciting and filled with great baseball. The Diamond Dawgs will try to defend last year’s championship – how will that affect what happens next week in the NCAA Tournament?

There are a few schools of thought on the conference tourney – hurry up and lose to prepare for the Regional and not get tired, try to win a championship, or just win one or two and take it easy.

Some folks think MSU is barely a host team right now…many “experts” agree on this. I do not buy it. MSU’s resume is too good. When you look at those blind resumes there’s just no doubt – Mississippi State is closer to being a national seed than not hosting.

Of course, there are many State fans that feel we will get screwed at every turn so we better not lose to Missouri or we’ll feel the NCAA’s wrath – let’s stop thinking this way. We need to demand MSU host a Regional. With an RPI of 10, there is no debate. It’s not even close, no matter what happens in Hoover.

Up first is Missouri. They were only 10-20 in the SEC this year and despite the fact that they are throwing a pitcher projected to be drafted in the first 5 rounds of the MLB draft, the Dawgs need to take care of business.

While a lot of folks don’t want to see MSU make a long run after what happened last year (figuring we were tired for the Regional), I think it would be great to win this thing.

At 10th in the RPI, we aren’t far off from the top 8. There are 8 national seeds. If we get to 7th or 8th we could certainly put ourselves in position to get one. That means hosting a Regional and if you win that, a Super Regional. We’ll have the schedule in the SEC Tourney to do so…

vs. Mizzou
vs. #11 RPI South Carolina
vs. #1 RPI Vanderbilt (most likely)
vs. #11 Carolina or #1 Vandy again
vs. #6 RPI LSU (probably)

I don’t want to play six games in six days again. But what about five? If State were to win the first three games we’d get an off day on Friday. Then Saturday would be a single-elimination game. So if we lost then it would only be four games and we’d have beaten #11 (again) and #1, or we win and move on to the championship game – just one more game and a chance to rack up even more RPI points.

In 2012 we played six games in the middle of the day. This year we’d play the first three games at night – if we stay in the winner’s bracket. It helps your level of fatigue when you’re playing in 20 degree cooler temperatures.

This is a very difficult tournament to win, especially when elite teams like Vandy and LSU are in it. But we could do it, and if it did happen I think it would be very hard to deny us a national seed.

There’s plenty to play for, but also a lot more to play for after this tourney is over. Hopefully it will be a lot of fun to watch, no one will get injured, and we’ll be talking about a Starkville Regional this time next week. Hail State.