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MONDAY, MAY 28, 2007
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Tide waits for possible NCAA berth
Committee will reveal bids at 11:30 a.m.

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

It’s decision day for Alabama baseball. With no NIT like in basketball, the Tide will find out Monday whether its season is over or it has gained a spot in the NCAA tournament.

The selection show starts at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN.

Thoughts on Alabama’s chances at making the NCAA baseball tournament are mixed at best.

The buzz by most reporters at the SEC baseball tournament was that Alabama (31-26) would not secure a bid. The Tide knew that it needed to do some damage entering the SEC baseball tournament in order to get to the NCAA tournament.

Instead, the Alabama’s bats went silent and the team scored two runs in two games, losing them both.

While the Tide lost to the respectable No. 15-ranked Arkansas in the first game, losing to Florida in the second game could have ended Alabama’s postseason run. Florida (29-30) finished the year under .500, meaning it will not make an NCAA berth.

Still, Alabama may have done enough to make the NCAA tournament, or maybe not depending on what the selection committee takes into account.

The main argument against the Tide is where it sits in the ratings percentage index.

Alabama is ranked No. 63 in the nation, according to boydsworld.com. The last two teams not to make this year’s SEC tournament, LSU and Kentucky, are 49th and 57th, respectively.

Alabama has also had difficulty in its midweek games, losing to South Alabama and Troy once each and Samford twice. The Tide also lost to Tennessee Tech at home.

Despite Alabama’s mid-week difficulty the Tide did finish seventh in the conference.

The SEC got nine NCAA tournament bids in 2005 and eight in 2006. And it would be tough to think that the selection committee wouldn’t look at the conference favorably again.

That is not to say that eight teams or nine teams are deserving to make the NCAA tournament from the SEC, but the strength of the conference should help.

Since Florida is out, and if Tennessee and Alabama do not make it, that would put only five teams in the tournament — a rarity for the conference.

Although Alabama was eliminated from the conference tournament early, it did take three-game series from No. 9-ranked South Carolina, Arkansas and at Mississippi State. Those came in the last month of the regular season.

Tide hoping for NCAA bid

  • What:NCAA baseball tournament selection show on ESPN.

  • When:Monday, 11:30 a.m.

  • Who:Alabama (31-26) is in line for a possible berth.

    JOSH COOPER

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