The College Football Playoff is always one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, as the four best teams square off for the championship trophy to ring in the new year.
The NCAA Basketball Tournament is home to three of the most exciting (and stressful) weekends of the calendar year in sports. People spend hours trying to create the perfect bracket, and Cinderellas end up advancing further than people thought.
For me, however, another one of the most exciting sports tournaments of the year is the NCAA baseball tournament. Just like March Madness, 64 teams play for the trophy at the end. However, in contrast to the basketball tournament having four number-one seeds, college baseball has 16 host sites, usually, the top-16 ranked teams in the country.
While teams advance to the next round in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, only sixteen teams do so. Teams advance from the Regionals to the “Super Regionals,” which are played at the site of the higher-seeded team in the Super Regional matchup. Only eight teams advance from the Super Regionals to the final round, the College World Series, which is every school’s goal to get to at the end of the year.
Every round of the tournament is double elimination, so teams will need to play their best baseball of the entire season. Yes, there have been teams who have lost in their first game that have gone all the way to the end, but it does not happen often. When I was watching the NCAA Baseball Tournament yesterday, I saw a stat that showed how over 70 percent of teams who advance are 2-0 going into the regional final. It is a simple formula: win and advance. Not as simple as it sounds, though.
Yesterday, we saw 10 schools punch their ticket to the Super Regionals: eighth-ranked Texas Tech, fifth-ranked Arkansas, twelfth-ranked Ole Miss, thirteenth-ranked LSU, ACC powerhouse Florida State, second-ranked Vanderbilt, ACC power Duke, sixth-ranked Mississippi State, fourteenth-ranked UNC-Chapel Hill, and SEC powerhouse Auburn.
Today, Monday June 3, we await the winner of six more regionals: the Los Angeles Regional, hosted by UCLA, who is playing Loyola-Marymount in the regional final at 10 P.M. on ESPN2 tonight, the Corvallis Regional, hosted by defending champion Oregon State (who has since been eliminated), which pits Michigan and Creighton against each other in the regional final at 7 P.M. on ESPN2, the Oklahoma City Regional, hosted by Oklahoma State, who is playing UCONN in the regional final at 7 P.M. on ESPNU, the Greenville (NC) Regional, hosted by ECU, who is playing Campbell University in the regional final at 1 P.M. on ESPNU (another game would be played if ECU wins, since Campbell has not lost yet), the Louisville Regional, hosted by Louisville, who is playing Illinois State at 1 P.M. on ESPN2, and the Stanford Regional, hosted by Stanford, who is playing Fresno State at 10 P.M. on ESPNU.
We await the winners of these above six Regionals to determine the final field for the Super Regionals. We do know, however, a couple of the next round matchups: Arkansas will be hosting Ole Miss, LSU will be hosting Florida State, Vanderbilt will be hosting Duke, Mississippi State will be hosting Stanford, and UNC-Chapel Hill will be hosting Auburn.
There is a lot of exciting college baseball to watch in the next 24 hours. If you have not started watching the tournament, I would recommend tuning in now, because this is a postseason you do not want to miss. Full of traditional powers advancing and Cinderellas crushing the hopes of other schools, you are in for a treat with the 2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament.