Tag Archives: Tennessee baseball

What if the SEC baseball tournament started today? (updated bracket projections)

The SEC baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala. (AP photo by Dave Martin)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s series-clinching victory over Kentucky on Sunday was doubly meaningful for the Vols.

At 10-14, Tennessee now wins the tiebreaker over Kentucky and climbs to the No. 10 seed in the SEC tournament. The recent struggles of Auburn, Missouri could give the top 12 teams a bit of a buffer in the league standings.

I think 11 of the league’s 14 teams have NCAA-quality resumes. (Everyone except Georgia, Auburn and MIssouri.) That could create a lack of suspense in Hoover, Ala., particularly if the bubble team(s) are bounced quickly in the single-elimination portion.

The Vols are in decent shape, with an RPI ranked 30th in the nation. (A No. 27 ranking in the Sagarin ratings validates that nice RPI number.)

Tennessee has six SEC games remaining — three at Mississippi State and then three at home against Florida — and two non-conference games. If the Vols go 4-4 in that stretch, their projected RPI ranking would be 37th. While that would probably be enough, although UT would prefer a bigger cushion.

Here’s how the SEC tournament bracket would look if the tournament began now:

1. Florida (East champ)

2. Ole Miss (West champ)

3. Mississippi State

4. Vanderbilt

5. LSU

6. South Carolina

7. Alabama

8. Texas A&M

9. Arkansas

10. Tennessee

11. Kentucky

12. Georgia

13. Auburn (not qualified)

14. Missouri (not qualified)

SINGLE ELIMINATION PORTION (loser is eliminated)

No. 6 South Carolina vs. No. 11 Kentucky

No. 7 Alabama vs. No. 10 Tennessee

No. 8 Texas A&M vs. No. 9 Arkansas

No. 5 LSU vs. No. 12 Georgia

DOUBLE ELIMINATION PORTION

Alabama-UT winner vs. No. 2 Ole Miss

LSU-UGA winner vs. No. 4 Vanderbilt

TAMU-Arkansas winner vs. No. 1 Florida

USC-UK winner vs. No. 3 Mississippi State

You can follow the rest of the bracket here (.pdf file).

If the SEC baseball tournament started today (which it doesn’t), here’s what bracket would look like

Tennessee players watch from the dugout during a game in March (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Twelve of fourteen SEC teams make the conference tournament in Hoover, Ala., so the accomplishment isn’t necessarily worth celebrating.

But given the competitiveness of the league this year (and every year), there’s a chance that a team with an NCAA-quality resume could be left out. And that team could be Tennessee.

The Vols took one of three from LSU over the weekend in Baton Rouge to improve to 8-13 in the conference. Missouri (6-15 in the SEC) continued to struggle, and will have to fight its way out of the No. 14 slot. That leaves a handful of teams trying to avoid being No. 13.

Tennessee has nine SEC games remaining against Kentucky, Mississippi State (at Starkville) and Florida. Here’s how the SEC tournament bracket would look if the tournament began right now:

1. Florida (East champ)

2. Alabama (West champ)

3. Ole Miss

4. LSU

5. South Carolina

6. Mississippi State

7. Vanderbilt

8. Arkansas*

9. Texas A&M

10. Kentucky

11. Auburn

12. Tennessee

13. Georgia (not qualified)

14. Missouri (not qualified)

* Arkansas-Texas A&M are currently tied and have not yet played head-to-head. For the sake of simplicity, I am pretending that Arkansas has won that series.

SINGLE ELIMINATION PORTION (loser is eliminated)

No. 6 Mississippi State vs. No. 11 Auburn

No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 10 Kentucky

No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Texas A&M

No. 5 South Carolina vs. No. 12 Tennessee

DOUBLE ELIMINATION PORTION

MSU-Auburn winner vs. No. 3 Ole Miss

Vandy-UK winner vs. No. 2 Alabama

Arkansas-TAMU winner vs. No. 1 Florida

USC-UT winner vs. No. 4 LSU

You can follow the rest of the bracket here (.pdf file). As always, the great challenge of the SEC baseball tournament is that is has the least meaning for the best teams. That’s why taking only eight of 14 teams just wouldn’t work. There would be a good chance that all eight teams would have already secured NCAA berths and thus would be uninterested in depleting their pitching staffs for this tournament.

That said, the SEC tournament is still a lot of fun in good years. And Tennessee would really like to get back. The Vols won the tournament three years in a row (1993-1995). Incredibly, they haven’t made an appearance in Hoover since 2007, when they sneaked in as a No. 8 seed. The last time UT was a No. 4 seed or higher was 2005.