Eleven programs hit the football, basketball, baseball postseason trifecta
The NCAA announced the 2013 baseball tournament field on Monday, which means it's time for us to evaluate the most well-rounded athletic departments throughout Division I. Of the 70-team FBS bowl season, the 68-team March Madness field and the 64-team baseball extravaganza, 11 schools were fortunate enough to place a team in all three events:
San Diego State
South Dakota State
Unsurprisingly, southern schools and conferences grossly outnumber their northern counterparts. The two regions are on equal footing in football and basketball, but the warm weather undoubtedly gives schools below the sun belt a large advantage in completing the third leg of the journey. As such, the Big 12 led the way with three representatives, the SEC and Pac-12 followed with two, while the Big East, ACC and Mountain West countered with one among FBS conferences.
Speaking of the ACC, the league claims All-Sport Champion Louisville (with a Big East title and Sugar Bowl win in football plus a national title in basketball, we're crowning the Cardinals before the baseball tournament begins), plus Miami and North Carolina - two schools who appeared in the NCAA basketball and baseball tournaments while posting bowl-qualifying win totals in football but, through no fault of their current rosters or coaching staffs, were ineligible for a bowl game. The sun is shining on John Swofford's league.
Astute readers will notice South Dakota State as the lone FCS outlier in the above list. Schools at that level live with a much thinner margin for error, thanks to a 24-team football playoff plus the reality that an at-large bid is rarely even on the table - meaning you'd better win your conference tournament if you're hoping to make a tournament trip in basketball or baseball. Though they didn't get Big Dance invites, four FCS football playoff schools - Cal Poly, Central Arkansas, Coastal Carolina and Sam Houston State - were also able to qualify for the NCAA baseball tournament.
To any athletic directors of schools mentioned above - go ahead and forward this list to your agent and thank us later.