Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Coles Notes version of the NCAA Baseball Tournament

Back in early March, Bubba wrote a blog post explaining how the Division I NCAA baseball post-season works. With the conference tournaments and (in some cases) conference regular seasons just wrapping up, it’s worth reviewing the main concepts laid out in that blog post.

The 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament begins this Friday. A total of 64 teams qualify for the tournament using an arcane methodology that requires a PhD in mathematics to decipher. Fortunately, Bubba boiled down this complexity into something that mere mortals can understand in his post. In any event, we’ll find out which schools made the cut on Monday morning at 9 AM when the NCAA announces the field of 64. The press conference will be covered live on ESPNU, but don’t expect TSN to interrupt regular programming to give us the live feed from their parent company.

Teams that make the cut for the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament (“the field of 64”) will still have to win two more rounds of post-season play in order to make the College World Series. Only eight teams make the College World Series, which will be held from June 14th to 24th (or 25th) in Omaha Nebraska. The two rounds that the field of 64 teams will need to win to make the College World Series are:
  • The Regionals (May 30th to June 2nd). This round is comprised of 16 separate four-team regional tournaments.
  • The Super Regionals (June 6th to 9th). This rounds is comprised of 8 separate best-of-three series (16 teams total).
The winner of each super regional advances to the College World Series. At this point, no team has qualified for the College World Series, because we won’t know who has won the super regionals until those eight head-to-head match-ups (between 16 yet-to-be-determined teams) have been played. Some teams have earned an automatic qualification for the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament (“the field of 64”), but many of the teams won’t be known officially until 9 AM on Monday when the NCAA makes their much-anticipated announcement. Any questions? As one of my math professors use to say, "Clear as mud."

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