15 May 2011
It was a good weekend for the Dogs, just wasn't our day yesterday. Now, looking at the SEC standings the upcoming weekend should be awfully exciting and, for some, quite nerve-racking.
As it stands Vandy, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are in. Tennessee and Kentucky are out. LSU has managed to work itself back into a mathematical chance at making the top eight. That means that the entire SEC west is battling for the final four slots in the SEC tourney.
At the top there is a four team logjam. Auburn, Arky, Bama and MSU are all tied at 13-14. TSUN is fifth at 12-15 and LSU is last at 11-16. Auburn has the easiest road with a 3 game series against Tennessee. They could easily sweep that one and win the West. Bama has the toughest task when they go to South Carolina for 3. TSUN travels to Arky and LSU comes to our house.
It's simple for State, win one game and we're in. That way, if TSUN sweeps Arky will be out. If TSUN takes 2 there will be a 3 way tie between MSU, Arky and TSUN and TSUN's 6-9 record against the West will leave them out. For TSUN, anything less than a sweep will mean elimination.
But all State needs is one win. Just one. If they get swept they're out. On the flip side, if we sweep the Tigers we are in the best position to win the West given our tiebreaker edge over Auburn (and the unlikelihood of Arky or Bama sweeping). But I think it's important to also consider seeding. If we're just worrying about making the field then we aren't thinking right.
If MSU makes the tourney they should be a #2 NCAA seed given their mid-20s RPI. This would be solidified with a win in the SEC tourney. That means you don't want to be the 8-seed facing Sonny Gray in game one. 7 seed would be fine (against the West champ). Even a 5 or 6 seed would be ok because we've been able to hit Hudson Randall and Palazzone. We just need to avoid the 8 seed. We can do that by winning at least 2 against LSU. And for some real down-the-road thinking, if MSU wins the West and manages to at least make the SEC Championship game they will have a very real shot at a top 16 NCAA seed and maybe a host site. Yes, it's a long shot but not out of the realm of possible.
That's how it breaks down. State could be the West champs and tournament #2 seed or they could be packing their bags and waiting for the NCAA field to be announced. But at least they control their own destiny. Take care of business and all will be well.
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