I glanced at the new 10-team double-elimination bracket, and it looks very bizarre, which is what's going to happen when you try to make a 10-team tournament double elimination for everyone.
This affects Tennessee Baseball if they keep this format in 2013. The format is odd; the top two teams appear to get worse draws than the 3rd and 4th teams. 2012 Baseball Tournament
#1 LSU and #2 USC got "byes," but not really.
#4 UK beat #9 Ole Miss on Tuesday, and the Cats then got Wednesday off. LSU played on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's 6vs7 matchup between Arky and MSU, with the winner to advance to play UK on Thursday.
So, #4 UK had to beat the #9 team to advance to Thursday's game. Meanwhile the "top seed" had to beat the winner of the 6-7 game and thus a higher-seeded team than the Cats faced. LSU received no advantage for its "bye"; in fact, LSU had to play a higher-seeded team and then potentially face UK, with the Cats having had the previous day off. So, UK had to, in essence, play a first round game, but they then got to skip the second round.
#1 LSU lost to #7 MSU on Wednesday. On the other side of the bracket, #2 USC faced the similar bizarre situation of having a worse draw than #3 Florida. USC lost to #5 Vandy, the day after Florida beat #10 Auburn.
The only edge the top seeds get in their first game is if their opponents use their best starting pitcher the day before.
It just seems weird that the #3 and #4 teams were given an easier path to reaching Day 3 in the winner's bracket than the #1 and #2 seeds.
LSU and USC did get to avoid the first round of elimination games; two teams were already out of the tournament before they began playing in the losers' bracket, but if you just look at the winners' bracket, the tournament sets up much better if you finish 3rd or 4th than if you finish 1st or 2nd.