New to postseason College Baseball? Here is how the MAC tournament works:
The Mid American Conference Baseball tournament is unlike any other MAC Mens Championship in that it's a double elimination affair. With eight teams participating there are four first round games.
The winners of the first round games go on to play each other in the second round. The losers of those games have a play in game to remain in the tournament.
The winners of the play in game go on to face the second round losers in another sudden death game. The winners of the sudden death game go on to play the winners of the second round game.
If the team who got through the second round has not yet lost then they still have two losses to burn. And the team who made it through the sudden death round has to beat them twice to make the Championship game.
Illustrated (from the 2012 tournament):
Buffalo as the #8 seed last year opened up with, and lost to Kent. In the other first round game on that side of the bracket western Michigan beat Ohio.
So Ohio and Buffalo played a play in game, each already with one loss while Kent and WMU faced off both without a loss. Buffalo beat WMU sending them home and moving UB onto the third round. At this point Buffalo would have to beat Kent twice to reach the Championship game while Kent needed just one win over UB.
Kent Beat Buffalo and went on to the championships.
This years bracket:
Round 1 Matchups
Kent vs Central Michigan
How they got here - Kent ran the table in their last two conference series' in order to catch up to, and pass Buffalo by a half game. Central Michigan needed a miracle and pulled on off with a win over Western Michigan while benefiting from a Toledo defeat of Eastern Michigan. CMU won the tiebreaker.
During the Season - Kent Hosted Central Michigan and won the series two games to one ( 4-1, 6-3, 2-8)
Buffalo vs Toledo
How they got here - Buffalo shocked everyone by not only qualifying for the tournament but by being just one two outs away from winning the whole thing. Toledo was a middle tier team all season never being too close to the top or too near the bottom. They won their final series to lock up the #7 seed.
During the Season - Buffalo hosted Toledo early on in conference play and beat them tow games to one ( 6-3, 3-1, 0-6)
NIU vs Bowling Green
How they got here - The Huskies were picked to finish last in the conference yet they led the west almost from the beginning of the year. After losing their opening series to Kent the swept Akron and never looked back. It was not until the final series that they were challenged by Ball State. BSU caught up with NIU by winning the first two games of the series but the Huskies put away the last game. Bowling Green was in serious danger of not making the tournament but their comeback win over Buffalo.
During the Season - These two teams did not meet during the regular season
Ball State vs Miami
How they got here -Ball State went 11-3 in their last 14 conference game to roar back after falling out of the picture early. Miami went the other direction. After bursting out of the gate the RedHawks got cold and fell from leading the East to fighting for a top four seeding.
During the Season - Miami took two of three from Ball State ( 1-0, 2-5, 6-5).
Predictions - (SWAG Warning)
Round 1 Winners - Kent, Buffalo, Ball State, NIU
Play in Winners - Miami (over CMU), Bowling Green (over Toledo)
Round 2 Winners - Kent (over Miami), Buffalo (over NIU)
Sudden Death Winners - Ball State (over Miami), NIU (Over Bowling Green)
Round Three Winners - Buffalo (over NIU), Kent (over Miami)
Champion - Buffalo (This may be a homer pick because Kent has a deeper set of pitchers than Buffalo does).