2015 Bracket Challenge Standings

I’ll update these standings as the regionals start to go final this weekend. If you (a) tried to submit a bracket but don’t see your name here, or (b) would like me to use a Twitter handle for you when I tweet out updates and don’t see one listed here, contact me @NECollegeBsbl or at necollegebaseball@aol.com. Brackets listed in italics below aren’t actually competing in the pool, I just used a few different rating systems to make brackets to see how accurately they predicted the tournament.

UPDATE: Regardless of whether you filled out a complete bracket or not, you’re welcome to participate in our Super Regional Pick ’ems Pool for the second weekend. If you missed out on the fun of the first weekend, this is a great way to get involved. If you’re bracket’s busted, it’s a great way to stay in the game. And even for those who loved their original brackets, you’re welcome to change your picks for this separate contest. I’ve set up a SurveyMonkey that takes less than 10 minutes, simply click on the link to complete it and enter. Continue reading

The CCBL NCAA Tournament Viewing Guide

If you’ve ever made it down to see baseball on the Cape during a summer, you’ll know how special it is to watch the best collegiate summer baseball league in the country. The calibur of play reflects the fact that the league draws from the top programs in the country, many of whom are part of the 64-team Division I Tournament that kicks off this Friday. For the third straight year, ESPN’s Bases Loaded platform will bring college baseball fans every minute of the action— you can catch every game on WatchESPN, the key moments on the NFL Redzone-style Bases Loaded channel, and select regionals on the Worldwide Leader’s TV channels. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the ’14 alumni and new faces in ’15 (not enough time to dig around for ’12s and ’13s, sorry). By my count, 222 ’14 and ’15 Cape Leaguers on 55 of the 64 teams will have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Pop me an email (necollegebaseball@aol.com) or tweet (@NECollegeBsbl) if I missed anybody, and enjoy the baseball.

Oh, and consider the blog’s Bracket Challenge shamelessly plugged. Follow this link for more info on taking part in a little March Madness in May.

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Sacred Heart’s Road to the NCAA Tournament

For the second time in this group of seniors’ careers, Sacred Heart is the last program standing in New England college baseball. Last week, the Pioneers took down NEC nemesis Bryant to punch a ticket to the program’s fourth Division I Tournament. In a decisive game seven, the Pios did it in style, coming back from a ninth-inning deficit to beat the team that’s defeated them in each of the past two championships. All in all, that’s not bad for a club that started the year 1-14. After the jump, I take a look at the Pioneers’ season, playoff run, key contributors, and matchups in the tournament.

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The 2015 NECB Blog Bracket Challenge

After another fantastic season of college baseball, we’ve finally come to the main event. The NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and, in three weeks’ time, the College World Series in Omaha. In my mind, it’s the best event in baseball. 64 teams playing the best sport in the world, with all the passion, emotion, and tradition of college sports to go along with it. And you don’t have to cross your fingers for a Game Seven to see do-or-die drama. Almost every game sees teams putting their seasons on the line for the chance to make a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Omaha. With ESPN putting in the resources to televise every single minute of the tournament on WatchESPN and their family of networks, this tournament is better than ever.

Which brings me to the Bracket Challenge. I love this tournament more than anything, and the point of this blog is to get other people into the CWS and all the other stuff that makes college baseball great. Every year, I see people having a blast with their basketball brackets, and it’s always mystified me that no one does this sort of thing. (It’s not as straightforward as basketball’s, but how hard is it to pick the winner of a four-team Regional?) Below, I’ll explain the tournament format, what the Bracket Challenge will look like, how to enter, what the rules are, and what lucrative prizes await the winner. May the best fan win.

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Previewing the D1 Conference Tournaments

After a rough weekend in D2 and D3, we’ve thankfully got something else to turn our attention to– six Division I conference tournaments will see teams from New England battle for NCAA Tournament bids this weekend. Three of them– the AEC, NEC, and MAAC– are being held right in our back yard. Below, I’ll take a look at each tournament, previewing the formats, history, and key players as eight different teams look to punch bids to the field of 64.

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Previewing the Division II Tournament

Regular Northeast-10 watchers have always known the conference provides an excellent brand of baseball, but the national recognition the conference has earned recently has been nice. Attention from scouts, lots of draft picks, and success on the diamond have all built the league’s profile. As this year’s NCAA Tournament field shows, that momentum has kept on rolling. Franklin Pierce, Southern New Hampshire, and Stonehill have engineered great campaigns to separate themselves as the top three teams in the East Region. New England may have missed out on Cary last year, but it’ll be a shock if one of these teams isn’t on a plane to North Carolina next week.

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Previewing the Division III Tournament

If there’s a best week of the year in New England college baseball, this is it. Between Divisions II and III, more than two dozen NCAA Tournament games happen right in our backyards. For the third straight year, Harwich and Whitehouse Field are the lucky hosts of the Division III New England Regional. If you live anywhere near the Cape, there’s really no excuse not to catch a game or two. This is can’t-miss baseball.

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