This One's For Some of the Marbles...
NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Show
11am CT, ESPNU
Vanderbilt finds itself in a precarious situation heading into today's Selection Show. The top prognosticators are torn: D1 Baseball and Baseball America have us as a mere Regional Host (with Virginia as our #2 seed, so fuck you, the both of yous!!!); whereas the SEC Network's baseball analysts had Vanderbilt in as the last National Seed, barely edging out aTm and Mizzourah State.
In short, our eyes will be trained to the screen A Clockwork Orange style as ESPN reveals teams #7 and 8. If we see either atm or Mizzourah State in spot #7, it's likely over for us - especially if it's aTm. Though an argument can be made for 4 SEC teams as National Seeds, the Committee is not going to do it. LSU's locked in, as is Florida. If it's a coin flip between Vandy and aTm, we'll be hoping the 12-3 bludgeoning on Saturday is on their minds, rather than the 6-1 woodshed whoopin' aTm gave Carson Fulmer on Thursday.
To be honest, I'd put our odds of being a National Seed at 1:3 right now, and that's why I've been visibly nervous to the point of annoying the lady friend.
However, for the sake of perspective, here's what happened when I tried to explain to the the newly be-doctored lady friend why I was behaving in this manner last night:
INT. Andrew VU '04's Apartment - Night
Her: So their season's over if they lose this game?
Me: No. They still have the NCAA Tournament, which is the one that counts. We're a #1 seed no matter what.
Her: Oh. I don't get it. So this is about pride?
Me: No, but kind of. If we win this, there's a chance we can get a National Seed as opposed to a Regional Seed.
Her: What's the difference?
Me: A National Seed hosts both the Regional round and Super Regional round. It's a pretty important advantage, as the Committee will likely send us to Louisville due to travel concerns, and I don't want to do that.
Her: Ohhhh. So you were a National Seed last year?
Her: But you won the whole thing, right?
Me: Yes, but even though we weren't a National Seed, we did get to host the Super Regional match-up against Stanford.
Her: I thought you said only National Seeds can host that.
Me: Unless the National Seed loses in Regionals, like Indiana did last year.
Her: Oh. Can we stop having this conversation?
Me: Yes. Though the Selection Committee probably made their decision before this game started, anyway.
Her: (Stares me down)
My Post-Perspective Take
I get it, we're likely stressing over nothing, as either Illinois or Louisville (the two most likely places we'll be sent in Supers) could lose in Regionals, as both are good, though flawed teams. Further, neither of them particularly scares me, so having to be the road team for those 2-3 games isn't that rough. Further still, home v. road (in terms of who bats last) is pretty much determined by a coin flip during the Tourney, so we'll bat last at least once. Further-er still-er, none of this matters if we don't win our own damn Regional, which we're definitely hosting.
Anyway, I like to speculate, and this makes me nervous. I'm a sports fan, lady. Deal with it.
So, in sum...
What We Want To See in Spot #7
Neither aTm nor Mizzourah State.
Who We Want as the #2 Seed in Our Region
Other Items of Interest
- Who will lose the lottery and have to face the Texas Long Fedoras as a #4 seed? (Likely TCU, aTm, Houston if they can somehow grab the last Regional #1, or Oklahoma State.)
- Which SEC bubble teams will get bids? (Kentucky and Mizzourah are praying they don't see the other school's name...)
- Which teams will get snubbed? (Clemson?)
- Which team will get the easiest Region? (If I have to guess, it'll be either Illinois, as they will get all the Northern teams, or LSU, as they always get really easy Regional pairings for some reason.)