Yes that's right..I am back, just in time to bring you (hopefully) daily coverage of the Men's College World Series, which will get underway tomorrow in sixteen different cities across the nation. Baseball's version of "March Madness" houses Division I's top 64 teams, like Basketball's, and will start out with sixteen, four-team regional brackets. Each regional bracket is ranked (one through four, of course) and is in double-elimination format. The last two teams standing on the first of June will be the ones to advance to the Super Regionals, which will not start until the fifth of June.
As of this evening, the Texas Long Horns (41-13-1 in the regular season) and the Cal State Fullerton Titans (42-14) are the top two teams entering first round play, giving them the role as "favorites" in this year's tournament. With the two teams on opposite sides of the bracket, a Texas/CSF championship matchup is possible, and would certainly be a very intriguing matchup. Cal State scored 417 runs in the regular season (ranked 86th of 288 teams) compared to the Long Horns' 332 runs (ranked 216th).
LSU (46-16), North Carolina (42-16), Arizona State (44-12), UC Irvine (43-13), Oklahoma (41-18) and Florida (39-20) round out the rest of the Nation's top eight teams. Last year's champions, a major underdog at the time, Fresno State, aren't in the top eight this season and, for that matter, are a fourth seed in the Irvine bracket. The Bulldogs (32-28) will most likely struggle to even make it out of the regionals, and will once again need to beat the odds. Last year's runner-up, the dangerous Georgia Bulldogs (37-22), are ranked number two in the Tallahassee bracket, and will certainly give the one ranked Florida State Seminoles (42-16) a run for their money.
Most people will tell you that the CWS is, in no way, shape or form, better than March Madness (and I thoroughly agree with them), but nevertheless the tournament will be a great one indeed. Just like every other year. The actual College World Series (top eight teams left) will not start until June 13, meaning there will be plenty of action throughout the month of June. Be sure to check back every now and then for more CWS coverage from this user! Enjoy the games..
Click on this link for the entire CWS bracket: http://www.ncaa.com/brackets/2009/ncaa_bracket_DI_baseball.html