With a mixture of skill and luck, Florida returns to Omaha looking to become the first team since South Carolina to repeat (2010-11). The Gators, however, are not the favorites to win it all.
The Elite 8 of college baseball are ready to converge on Omaha and top-ranked Florida is trying to repeat as champions. Here is how the brackets breakdown.
Saturday, June 16
Game 1: (6) North Carolina vs. (3) Oregon State, 3 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: Washington vs. Mississippi State, 8 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, June 17
Game 3: (5) Texas vs. (13) Arkansas, 2 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: (9) Texas Tech vs. (1) Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN2
As you can see, the bottom bracket (starting Sunday) is the tougher bracket with four ranked teams compared to two in the upper bracket (Saturday). This is why the oddsmakers (5Dimes in this case) have Oregon State as the overall favorite compared to Florida.
College World Series Odds To Win Tournament
Oregon State wins CWS +210
Florida wins CWS +350
Arkansas wins CWS +500
Texas Tech wins CWS +675
North Carolina wins CWS +1050
Mississippi State wins CWS +1150
Texas wins CWS +1100
Washington wins CWS +1400
Here is a breakdown of each team in their first-round matchup.
North Carolina (43-18) vs. Oregon State (49-10-1)
These teams have a history as they met for the championship in 2006-07, which were both won by Oregon State. The Tar Heels got off to a rocky start at 9-8 before settling in and are led offensively by Kyle Datres and first baseman Michael Busch. Their top starter is junior right-hander Cooper Criswell (2.89 ERA).