Monday, May 19, 2008

Baseball Brackets

I love printable PDF brackets. Here are the upcoming college baseball conference tournaments:

8 Teams, Double Elimination
SEC Tournament Subtle Point: Notice that the upper and lower bracket undefeated teams flip (the winners of Games 7 & 8 flip). This helps reduce the number of redundant games.
Conference USA Tournament
Big East Tournament
Sun Belt Tournament
Southern Conference Tournament (includes bonus opening round games)

8 Teams, Two Round Robin Tournaments
ACC Tournament
Big 12 Tournament

6 Teams, 2 Byes, Double Elimination
MVC Tournament
MWC Tournament
Big Ten Tournament

6 Teams, Double Elimination
Big South Tournament (includes bonus opening round games)
CAA Tournament

Championship Series
The WCC pits its first and second place teams in a weekend series. This year San Diego faces Pepperdine.

No Tournament
Long Beach St. got some nice publicity from Paul Goydos during The Players Championship, but they don’t believe in playing conference tournaments out west. Oh well, if we peruse the Big West schedule there are plenty of good games including Long Beach St. vs Cal St. Fullerton. Similarly, the Pac10 has some solid bubble teams finishing out the regular season.

ESPN’s college baseball coverage is one of the few things that isn’t “insider only” yet. Check out Jeremy Mills columns if you want a nice summary of weekend action. He also runs some bubble projections. Here was an earlier bracket projection. Baseball America has a more recent projection and some good coverage overall. As you know, I’m always stumping for Basketball Prospectus. And I’d do the same for Baseball Prospectus, except that the college baseball coverage requires a subscription.

Baseball’s championship week isn’t nearly as fun as basketball’s championship week, but it can still be a fun time. For example a team like Coastal Carolina is essentially like Memphis in basketball. They are far and away the best team in the Big South, and they’ll get a good tournament seed. But if they falter in the conference tournament, someone loses an at-large bid. That always makes for fun scoreboard watching.

Meanwhile, the SEC could send 9 teams to the NCAA tournament, despite only 8 teams qualifying for the SEC tournament. When a league is that deep, in a sport as unpredictable as baseball, you have a recipe for a great tournament.