MBD's Model for a Better NCAA Regional

There are always better ways to do things - here's my suggestion...

Here's what I've never been a fan of: a #1 seed plays a #4 seed in the first game of the Regional and that #4 seed has one great pitcher who tosses an excellent game. #4 seed wins the game and moves the #1 seed to the loser's bracket where they will have to win four consecutive games to come out alive. But that #4 seed didn't have anything other than that one great pitcher so they get killed in the next two games. Meanwhile the #2 seed is sitting pretty.

In baseball great pitching beats great hitting, and sometimes a team just has a great starter or a guy has the performance of a lifetime and a lesser team beats someone on a particular day. They aren't better - they could never win a best of 5 or best of 7 - but on that day they won the game. I don't like how the double elimination Regional format hurts you so bad if you run into one of these instances.

Much like my proposal for the SEC Tournament, I like pool play here - or a round robin if you will. While the SEC Tourney I'm not as adamant about, I really think this would be much better for a Regional.

Here's how it would work - Friday, Saturday and Sunday each team plays every other team. So for example the #1 seed would play #4 on Friday, #3 on Saturday and #2 on Sunday. By Sunday night you'll have the records of each of the teams, and based on those records you enter a playoff between the top two teams to decide who moves on to the Super Regional.

There are four scenarios of how the 'standings' of each Regional would work out. Here they are....

Scenario 1

Team A Team B Team C Team D
3-0 2-1 1-2 0-3

For this one you would have a playoff between Team A and Team B on Monday. Team B would need to beat Team A twice to advance. That second game could be played on Tuesday if necessary.

Scenario 2

Team A Team B Team C Team D
2-1 2-1 1-2 1-2

This one is pretty obvious - Team A vs. Team B in a winner take all playoff on Monday.

Scenario 3

Team A Team B Team C Team D
3-0 1-2 1-2 1-2

Here, all of the bottom three teams have already lost two games, so they have eliminated themselves. Team A obviously dominated so they move on without having a playoff.

Scenario 4

Team A Team B Team C Team D
2-1 2-1 2-1 0-3

This is the trickiest scenario since Team D was so bad. What I'd do here is let the top seeded team have a bye for the first playoff on Monday that the second and third seeded teams would play in. Then the winner of that game would play the top seeded team on Tuesday for a winner take all.

I'm a big fan of this myself. At the very least, even if you do poorly the first two games of the Regional you get to use your entire weekend rotation by playing a third game and hopefully get a win for pride.

What do y'all think?

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