College baseball heads to Omaha, Nebraska, and Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium for the 64th College World Series. For a brief time, people will focus on Omaha for baseball rather than for Warren Buffett.
Eight teams remain from the 64 teams chosen for the multi-tiered playoff system. Representatives from the Pac-10, ACC, SEC, and Big 12 conferences will compete for the national title. However, Baseball America’s top-ranked team, Virginia, won’t be there. Oklahoma beat them earlier in the playoffs.
In order to get to Omaha the teams competed in two previous tournaments. Sixty-four teams participated in sixteen double elimination regionals. Those regional winners played in eight double elimination super regionals. The remaining eight teams advance to the NCAA College World Series, which is also a double elimination tournament. The World Series begins on June 19th.
Arizona State enters the championship ranked number two in the nation and the top seed in the tournament. They play unranked Clemson in the first game, and Arizona State should win.
University of Florida is ranked number four in the nation. They play UCLA in their first game. UCLA’s Rahmatulla broke his wrist during the super regional celebration, and they will miss his bat. Look for the Gators to win this one.
TCU got into the series by knocking off one of the favorites, Texas. TCU has never been to the tournament before, and fans should expect first game jitters. They play Florida State University in their first game. The Seminoles have been to Omaha twenty times and will be ready to play.
UCLA comes in ranked eighth in the nation. Without Rahmatulla, they will have hard time. The Bruins have been to the series three times and have always finished in the bottom. Expect them to fair better this time but not to win the series.