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2017 SEC Baseball Tournament - Day 1 Open Thread

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WELCOME TO SPACE MOUNTAIN BABY, WOOOOO!

Time for my favorite week of the year. One week where all of the best college baseball in the country descends upon a small Birmingham suburb to fight it out for a championship. The Hoover Met, with it’s vast ocean of parking lots, newly expanded RV lot, and central location has once again fended off other challengers to keep the tournament at a park that at this point is almost purpose built just for this week. The football championship may make more money and the the basketball championship will always get Kentucky fans to travel to any destination they choose, but to me this event is the best thing the SEC does all year.

And it’s now it’s got a Ferris Wheel and a putt-putt course.

The 12 team tournament starts this morning with the single elimination play-in round for the bottom 8 teams. For teams on the hosting bubble (Miss St., Arkansas) or just trying to get into the NCAA tournament at all (Auburn, Ole Miss), this is where true desperation baseball is played. You can build a great resume on a long run in Hoover, but if you can’t win today, it’ll be over before it begins. Every team’s ace arms are still unavailable from the recent weekend action, so each team has to dig deep and find that midweek starter who can handle the sudden pressure of facing the elite bats of the SEC.

In the morning session, we start with two teams who traditionally want nothing to do with Hoover. Vandy and USC have spent the last decade preferring to go home as soon as possible and save their pitchers for the NCAA tournament, but this season neither team has that luxury. USC is out of the field in most projections and Vandy is clinging onto a shaky resume. A loss today spells certain doom for both. The same goes for A&M and Mizzou.

In the afternoon session, Auburn is trying to correct a late-season skid that has already cost them a hosting opportunity, while the Rebels are fighting to stop any other SEC team from taking their spot in the field of 64. Mississippi St wants to hold off the construction for one more weekend at Dudy Nobel Field, while UGA is really just happy to be here.

MATCHUP (SINGLE ELIMINATION) TIME (CT)

Session 1 - SEC Network, Sirius 137 / XM 190

Game 1: #6 Vanderbilt vs #11 South Carolina 9:30 AM

Game 2: #7 Texas A&M vs #10 Missouri TBD

Session 2 - SEC Network, Sirius/XM 84.

Game 3: #8 Auburn vs #9 Ole Miss 4:30 PM

Game 4: #5 Mississippi State vs #12 Georgia TBD

As always, all games can be seen live on SEC Network and the WatchESPN app. Also, the great neutral SEC Radio Network feed is live for the entire tournament on satellite radio, Westwood One affiliates nationwide, and the Tunein streaming service.