Friday, May 30, 2008

Conference Tournament Wrap-up

8 Teams, Double Elimination

SEC: While top seeded Georgia bowed out after two games, 2nd seeded LSU won the title. This allowed LSU to jump ahead of top seeded Georgia in the NCAA tournament national seedings. (LSU is 7th nationally, Georgia 8th.) But the real story was 8th seeded Ole Miss making it to the title game and ensuring an at-large bid. The SEC ended up with 9 bids again, as even Arkansas who didn’t qualify for the SEC tournament, still earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

CUSA: Like Georgia, top seeded Rice lost its first two games in the CUSA tournament, but still received a national seed (#6). And like Mississippi, 8th seeded UAB went on a mini-run, sitting undefeated after two games. But unlike Mississippi, UAB lost two straight to Houston and their season came to an end. The title game featured two teams, 4th seeded Houston and 6th seeded Marshall that had to come out of the losers bracket to play in the title game. But only Houston was victorious and Marshall was not one of the 5 CUSA teams to earn a bid.

Big East: Again, the top seed lost its first two games and was eliminated. But top seeded St. John’s received the Big East’s lone at-large bid. The other bid went to tournament champion Louisville who went 4-0 in the tournament.

Sun Belt: 5th seeded Western Kentucky won the tournament and may have knocked top seeded Louisiana-Monroe out of the NCAA tournament in the process. 2nd seeded New Orleans probably had the best at-large profile, but they also had to be sweating after losing the opener and then squeaking out a rain-delayed extra inning elimination game win. New Orleans rallied to make the title game and locked up an at-large berth.

Southern Conference: Top seeded Elon scored 21, 16, 12, and 17 runs in a decisive tournament sweep. 2nd seeded College of Charleston lost in the title game and despite a 39-20 record, was left out of the NCAA tournament field.

8 Teams, 2 Round Robins

ACC: Top seeded Miami swept its round robin, won the title game and earned the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, 6th seeded Virginia went 2-1 and edged Florida St. in the head-to-head tie-breaker to win its half of the round robin. This may have been key as Virginia was the 6th and final ACC team to make the field.

Big 12: 5th seeded Texas lost the opener in extra innings, but won the remaining games to capture the Big 12 crown. 7th seeded Kansas St. won its half of the round robin, but the loss in the title game proved costly, as KSU did not receive an NCAA invite.

6 Teams, 2 Byes, Double Elimination

MVC: Wichita St. won two games in less than 9 innings (thanks to a league mercy rule for blowouts) and went undefeated in the tournament. The Shockers earned the MVC’s lone NCAA tournament bid.

MWC: TCU lost to New Mexico in its second game of the tournament, but fought out of the loser’s bracket sweeping New Mexico on Friday and Saturday to win the tournament and earn the MWC’s lone bid.

Big 10: The Big 10 is never going to be a baseball powerhouse, but it can’t hurt recruiting when these games are shown on national TV on the Big Ten Network. Michigan went undefeated and the Wolverines earned the Big 10’s lone NCAA tournament bid. Michigan shouldn’t have been a host in the NCAA tournament, but was awarded a host site since there were too many West Coast locations.

A10: I failed to post the bracket last week. Shockingly the one team from a southern city, Charlotte, won the tournament and earned the lone NCAA bid.

6 Teams, Double Elimination

CAA: 2nd seeded James Madison went undefeated in winning the conference tournament and top seeded UNC-Wilmington did enough in the regular season for the CAA to earn two NCAA tournament bids.

Big South: Second seeded Liberty lost the opener, fought back and gave top seeded Coastal Carolina its only loss, but it wasn’t enough as Liberty was left out of the NCAA tournament field. Champ Coastal Carolina was awarded a host site in the NCAA tournament.


-Dallas Baptist became the first independent to make the NCAA tournament since Miami did it in 1992.

-I never posted a bracket for the Summit League. Hey, when you have 6 teams in the conference, a 4 team bracket is all you can have. Oral Roberts, the good team in the Summit league, was victorious.

-San Diego swept Pepperdine in the WCC Championship series, but both teams received NCAA invites.

-The Pac10 had no conference tournament, but still earned 5 bids. One team with a losing conference record (California) earned an invite.

-The Big West had no conference tournament, but still earned 4 bids. If this was the NCAA basketball tournament, UC Davis would be an at-large with a 13 seed, clearly one of the last teams in the bracket.

-And here is the official NCAA bracket. Double elimination games begin on Friday!