NCAA Baseball Tournament Projection (“ideal-world scenario”)

May 27, 2011

What if the NCAA Baseball Tournament was a straight 64-team draw? (with #1 playing #64, etc.) …

We’ve all seen projections over the past few weeks as to how the 2011 NCAA Baseball Tournament LIKELY will shake out … but what about a projection showing how the tournament SHOULD be formatted? – in an ideal situation in which all 64 teams were seeded and placed into appropriate Regionals.

College Baseball 360 undertook this task (full draw below), using these guidelines:

(note that some slight adjustments have been made to this projection – with update coming prior to the NCAA selections on May 30)

• The May 27 update of the CB360 Composite National Rankings (CNR) was used to seed teams 1-58 (with the remaining six teams seeded based on the May 24 official NCAA RPI).

• Some slight modifications then were made to avoid teams from the same conference being placed in the same Regional and also to avoid Regional #1 seeds being paired against a conference rival in probable Super-Regional meetings.

• The CNR formula currently features 16 different elements, 15 of them weighed equally along with a bonus/penalty for record over past-10 games. The 15 core criteria are averaged and converted to a 100-point scale, with the max bonus/penalty being 0.5 pts. The 15 core criteria currently used in the CNR include six polls/rankings, five RPI-type calculations, and four NCAA Tournament projections (see the Composite National Rankings link on right sidebar and then scroll down for more info. on the CNR formula).

For example, Vanderbilt is the new #1 team in the Composite National rankings and would be paired up in its home Regional with Alcorn State (#64 “seed”), plus Creighton and Coastal Carolina (the #32 and #33 teams in the current CB360 top-50/CNR). Essentially, the combined seeds in all of the day-1 matchups listed below add up to 65 (prior to modifications to keep conference rivals apart in the earlygoing).

The resulting 16 Regionals are listed below, paired up for Super-Regional matchups (i.e. winners of the Vanderbilt and Rice regionals would meet in the Super Regionals). Teams are listed in descending order of seed within each regional (1-2-3-4).

Note that Auburn (CNR #44) and Georgia (CNR #45) are not included in this projection, due to not having a winning record. The numbers 1-43 listed below refer to actual CNR standings; those listed as 44-49 indicate two spots higher than actual CNR (due to omission of Auburn and Georgia). Those listed as #50-#64 are projected automatic qualifiers not included in the top-49.

It’s an interesting read to see how the tournament might play out, minus the current geographical and travel-cost restrictions. CB360 hopes to have another update or two of this projection, as some of the data sources update their numbers.

(based primarily on the CB360 Composite National Rankings; slight corrections made to avoid certain conference matchups)

(1) Vanderbilt
Creighton (32)
Coastal Carolina (33)
Alcorn State (64)

Rice (15)
Oklahoma (17)
Mississippi (47)
Gonzaga (50)


(2) South Carolina
Arizona (31)
Kent State (34)
Navy (63)

Clemson (14)
Southern Mississippi (18)
Florida Atlantic (46)
James Madison (51)


(3) Florida
Central Florida (30)
Oklahoma State (35)
Maine (62)

Oregon State (13)
Miami (19)
Kansas State (48)
Michigan State (52)


(4) Virginia
East Carolina (29)
LSU (36)
Princeton (61)

Arkansas (16)
Connecticut (20)
Jacksonville (45)
Texas Tech (49)


(5) North Carolina
California (28)
Baylor (37)
Wright State (60)

Texas A&M (11)
Fresno State (21)
East Tennessee State (44)
Charlotte (53)


(6) Texas
Troy (27)
North Carolina State (38)
Austin Peay (59)

(12) TCU
UC Irvine (22)
Texas State (43)
Bethune-Cookman (54)


(7) Florida State
Stetson (26)
Elon (39)
Oral Roberts (58)

Cal State Fullerton (10)
UCLA (23)
Alabama (42)
Sacred Heart (55)


(8) Arizona State
Florida International (24)
Mississippi State (40)
Samford (57)

Georgia Tech (9)
Stanford (25)
Dallas Baptist (41)
Manhattan (56)

Next Five: Southeastern Louisiana, Mercer, St. John’s, Cal State Bakersfield and College of Charleston

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