Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Blog-centennial!

Tales of Baseball Tangles, Meeting Wrangles, and Anniversary Angles...the 100th post for Big South SHOUT!

And yes, for the Word Police, "blog-centennial" is all wrong (it's a hundred posts, not a hundred years, after all)...but it sounds a lot better than the more accurate "hectoblog" would have, so I'm taking poetic license on that one...

The final champion of the 2008-09 season has been crowned: the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have won the Big South Baseball Championship. Yes, the top seed won, but it wasn't easy for them--or for the casual bracket follower.

You see, it all started getting complicated with Radford's upset win over Coastal in Game Five...that resulted in five surviving teams after six completed games...and that in turn meant leaving the standard double-elimination bracket (no picnic to follow in any case) and going to the first contingency bracket. With me so far?

Coastal dispatched High Point in the revised bracket's Game Seven, leaving four teams standing--but then the Chanticleers stirred up another bracket racket, this time by defeating the previously unbeaten Liberty Flames in Game Nine (I haven't lost you yet, have I?) and forcing the final three teams into the second contingency bracket.

Really. No point in making this stuff up, after all.

Here's the irony--the double-elimination bracket plays out in orderly fashion if the seeds hold, yet we wound up going through these extra twists and turns only to follow the seeds: the last four teams were the top four seeds and they were eliminated in four-three-two order to leave the number one seed in the champion's throne!

Anyway, next up for the Chanticleers, a date with Kansas at the Chapel Hill Regional on Friday. CCU is the 2-seed, facing #3 KU, while host and top seed UNC plays Dartmouth.

Baseball may be the last Conference Championship, but it's not the last activity for the Big South on the traditional academic/athletic calendar...not when the Spring Meetings are upon us. Meetings? Yes, it's time again to gather the CEOs, ADs, and other administrators from all the member institutions of the Big South to discuss matters of policy and procedure, finance and function, impact and interest. Parliamentary Procedure does not make much of a spectator sport, but the votes cast in these sessions do reach the fields and courts of competition in a variety of ways. I'll keep you posted on any major developments as warranted.

The other thing that comes out of these meetings is the Awards & Anniversary Dinner (in other years, it's the Hall of Fame Dinner, but no HoF this year--we're finishing off the 25th Anniversary celebration instead). Not only will we have the annual presentations of the Christenberry Awards and Graduate Fellowships, the All-Sport Trophies, and the Sasser Cup, but we will also reveal the final results of the "Best of the Best." A special video will count down the top ten from the 25 sensational spotlight athletes, teams, and moments of the Big South's first 25 years. Designated representatives from all 25 honorees will be acknowledged and someone from the top "moment" selected will address the crowd. I know the order, but it's top secret--you're not getting it out of me...

By the way, the Anniversary Dinner is invitation only, but don't worry, you can catch up on what went on--starting Friday, the countdown video and the evening's ceremonies will be available as free video on BigSouthSports.com!

Did a fun interview today with the NCAA News on the impact of Twitter for collegiate sports. That should run sometime in June--I'll let you know where to find that when it runs.

That's all for now--SHOUT, out!

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