Filling out the NCAA men's bracket, MLB style
Want to give your soon-to-be obliterated NCAA bracket a baseball bent? We're here to help.
It is March -- that time when the people of this fair land unite to sup at the welcoming table of illegal gambling. That is, it's NCAA tournament time, and we at Eye On Baseball would be remiss if we did not participate in this very CBS occasion.
To fulfill our obligations as both fans of baseball and enthusiasts of March Madness, we've filled out a men's bracket on decidedly baseball terms.
What are those terms? We used the college database over at Baseball-Reference and advanced the school that has produced the most major-leaguers over the sprawl of baseball history. In the case of a tie (there actually was one), we turned to the number of minor-leaguers to decide the hotly fought contest. So, again, the team with the most all-time major-leaguers in any given matchup advanced.
And now for the big screenshot reveals ...
Yes, your Final Four combatants are Saint Mary's (!), Notre Dame, Michigan and Illinois. Viva la Catholics! Viva la Upper Midwest! As you can also see, Michigan -- hail to those victors -- lorded over all of college basketball. At least according to this narrowly defined and objectively silly method. Michigan's 78 big leaguers -- headlined by Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer, George Sisler and Barry Larkin -- was good enough to ferry it to the belt and the title. The Cinderella was, of course, Saint Mary's, which, to my surprise, has churned out 60 major-leaguers over the years (including Mark Teahen!).
Best game? Notre Dame's stirring 73-72 win over Arizona in the Sweet 16. That is, unless you're partial to Creighton's contest with Cincinnati, which was tied at 19-19 after regulation and had to be decided by minor-leaguers. (Although, to be fair, a 19-19 score in the shot-clock era -- or any era -- sounds just awful.) Biggest blowout? Pity South Dakota State, which fell in the first round to the eventual champs by a score of 78-1.
Now, by all means, please do go fill your own bracket according to criteria actually related to the sport of basketball.
On the other hand, if the usual and miserable hash of carefully considered brackets is any guide, then perhaps this method is as sound as any other.
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