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Big XII Tournament Day One: Non-Texas Games Open Thread

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The postseason begins in earnest today as conference tournaments around the country get started. The Big XII Tourney in Oklahoma City begins at 9 AM with the Texas A&M vs Texas Tech game.

Unlike many conference tournaments, which are modeled on the College World Series, the Big XII uses a round-robin format. There are two schools of thought on that. Some feel that this approach is insane because baseball doesn't lend itself to a fair solution when there are 3 teams tied at the top of a 4-team bracket, and the only real way to crown a champion among four teams without using one-on-one series and advancing is a double-elimination format. The other school of thought--the one obviously favored by the conference itself--is that it is more important for teams to be able to preserve their pitching for the big tournament than to use the "fairest" system, and the round-robin format ensures that no team plays more than four (or fewer than three) games.

In my view (can't speak for JA; he's in Europe), the conference actually hurts itself with this format. While the two-way tiebreaker is sensible enough (head-to-head), the three-way tiebreaker is that the highest seeded team among those knotted up advances to the championship. While this makes sense from the Texas perspective as a well-deserved reward for a full regular season of being better than the other teams, from the conference perspective it reduces the likelihood that a low-seeded team will win the tournament and get the automatic bid to the big dance--thereby getting an extra Big XII team into the mix, as the higher-seeded teams will be in via at-large bids anyway.

Just some food for thought; the schedule of non-Texas games is below. There will be an extra open thread for the Texas game, which begins at 12:30 PM.

9:00 AM: A&M vs Tech 

4:00 PM: K-State vs Baylor

7:30 PM: Oklahoma vs Kansas