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MBD's Model for a Better SEC Tournament

The SEC Tournament bracket is confusing and all over the place, we can do better

Have you seen this year's SEC Tournament bracket? It's nuts.

Day one is single elimination.

Days 2-4 are double elimination.

Days 5 & 6 are single elimination.

12 out of the 14 SEC teams made the cut. That's 86%. I bet you feel special Missouri and Kentucky, getting in with a 10-20 and 11-19 record respectively. Actually, not much respect for those records. Why are we inviting pretty much everyone to Hoover these days? What happened to the days of 8 out of 12 teams in? Back in 2011 LSU and Ole Miss couldn't even get in with a 13-17 was at least somewhat of an accomplishment to make it to the Met.

But, here we have 12 teams. By Wednesday they will be cut to 8. If Mississippi State can get past Mizzou on Tuesday night we'll go from a possible one and done to guaranteed at least 3 games. I just don't like it.

  1. I don't want to get in a scenario where we (or any SEC team) may play six straight days like State did in 2012.
  2. What has Mizzou or UK done to earn the right to play against MSU and Ole Miss? MSU is 6 games ahead of Mizzou (with a much tougher schedule) and OM is 4 games ahead of UK (with a tougher schedule).
  3. Why don't we at least give these teams like MSU, OM, Bama, etc. a chance to play at least two games to sharpen their skills before heading off to their Regional?
  4. Playing on Tuesday gives your #1 guy four days of rest which he is not used to or you can use a mid-week guy. Why are we playing a single-elimination game under these circumstances.
  5. I'm a stick in the mud.
I don't want to go back to the old way of having an eight-team double elimination tournament over five days. I like that there's only 8 teams, but I don't like the possibility six games in five days as Vanderbilt did in 2007.

Here's what I'd like to do: copy the ACC's pool play conference tournament.

Here's what it would look like this year...

Day 1
1 Vanderbilt vs. 8 Florida
4 South Carolina vs. 5 MSU

2 LSU vs. 7 Alabama
3 Arkansas vs. 6 Ole Miss

Day 2
1 Vanderbilt vs. 5 MSU
4 South Carolina vs. 8 Florida

2 LSU vs. 6 Ole Miss
3 Arkansas vs. 7 Alabama

Day 3
1 Vanderbilt vs. 4 South Carolina
5 MSU vs. 8 Florida

2 LSU vs. 3 Arkansas
6 Ole Miss vs. 7 Alabama

As you can see, this is a round robin between two 4-team pods. You take the team with the best record and advance them to a championship game vs. the team with the best record from the other pod and play a do or die final game. That's it. If there's a tie use head-to-head first, then the higher seed advances if that doesn't work. Gripes? Maybe, but this tourney is relatively meaningless.

The advantages to this are two-fold. One - you only accept the top 8 teams, the really good ones. It's an accomplishment to make it. Two - no team can play more than four games, and you will at least play three which is the equivalent to the usual weekend series plus you make the trip to Hoover worth your while playing more than just one or two.

What do y'all think?