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NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament Preview: Part Three

 Julian Guilarte  |    May 30th, 2024 1:00pm EDT

(Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NCAA Division I Baseball 64-team Tournament Regions Released: What to Watch For 

The conference tournaments were finished by May 26, and the 32 automatic bids were decided. The NCAA Division I Baseball bracket was filled out with the other 32 teams on the selection show aired on ESPN 2 on May 27.

Four teams are in each region, and the format is double elimination from Friday, May 31, to Monday, June 3. The winner of each region will advance to the Super Regionals, a best two-out-of-three series with the higher-ranked team hosting. The winners of the Super Regional will go to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series and be in the final eight.

The regional format began in 1954 and expanded to 64 teams in 1999. The College World Series was founded in 1947 in Omaha.

All game times will be posted in the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

Region Two

Kentucky is the overall twoseed and will host the Regional Tournament in Lexington at Kentucky Proud Park.

Teams:

No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats—Kentucky went 1-2 in the SEC Tournament and was eliminated by South Carolina in a 5-6 loss. Kentucky has never won the SEC Tournament or played in the College World Series. They have made it to the Super Regionals twice, including last season.

No.2 Indiana State Sycamores—Indiana State went 3-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and lost in the finals to Evansville. Indiana State has won the Missouri Valley Conference eight times and made it to the College World Series once.

No.3 Illinois Fighting Illini—Illinois went 1-2 in the Big 10 Tournament, losing to Penn State and Michigan. Illinois has won four conference championships and has never played in Omaha.

No.4 Western Michigan Broncos—Western Michigan won the Mid-American Conference Championship with a 10-3 win against Ball State. This was the second time they had won the conference tournament. Western Michigan has played in the College World Series six times and was the runner-up in 1955.

Player to Watch- Kentucky infielder Ryan Nicholson led Kentucky with 18 home runs and 54 RBI and had an OPS of 1.050 in 175 at-bats.

Schedule: Friday, May 31.                                                                                                                              

Kentucky (40-14) will play Western Michigan (32-21) at noon on the SECN.

Indiana St. (42-13) will play Illinois (34-19) at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

 

Region 15

Oregon State is the 15th overall seed and will host the Regional Tournament in Corvallis in Gross Stadium at Coleman Field.

Teams:

No.1 Oregon State Beavers—Oregon State went 1-1 in the Pac-12 Tournament and was eliminated by Stanford. Oregon State has won its conference tournament twice. They have three College World Series Championships and won back-to-back from 2006-2007.

No.2 UC Irvine Anteaters—UC Irvine finished second in the Big West, going 22-8 in conference play. The Big West does not currently have a conference tournament, but UC Irvine has made the College World Series twice.

No.3 Nicholls Colonels—Nicholls beat McNeese 15-1 in seven innings to win the Southland Conference Tournament in back-to-back years. They have won the tournament four times and have yet to make it to Omaha.

No.4 Tulane Green Wave—Tulane won the American Athletic Conference championship by beating Wichita 11-10. They have won it in back-to-back years and 12 times overall. Tulane has made the College World Series twice.

Player to Watch: Oregon State Second Baseman Travis Bazzana is the second-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 150 Draft Rankings. Bazzana set Oregon State’s single-season home run record and cleared it by five home runs with 26. He also has their career hits record at 246 and has passed that by seven hits.

Schedule: Friday, May 31.

UC Irvine (43-12) will play Nicholls (38-20) at 4 p.m. on ESPN+.

Oregon St. (42-14) will play Tulane (35-24) at  9 p.m. on ESPNU.

Super Regionals: The winners of the Lexington and Corvallis Regionals will play in the Super Regionals.

 

Region 10

NC State is the 10th overall seed and will host the Regional in Raleigh at Doak Field.

Teams:

No.1 NC State Wolfpack— NC State went 1-1 in the ACC Tournament and was eliminated in an 8-1 loss to Duke. They have won their conference tournament four times and made the College World Series three times.  

No.2 South Carolina Gamecocks—South Carolina lost to LSU in the finals of the SEC Tournament. They have won the SEC Tournament once and the College World Series twice. They won it back-to-back in 2010-2011 and lost their bid at a three-peat in 2012 to Arizona.

No.3 James Madison Dukes—James Madison lost the SBC Conference Tournament semi-finals 7-1 to Georgia Southern. JMU has won the conference tournament twice and made the College World Series once.

No.4 Bryant Bulldogs—Bryant won the American East Championship by beating UMBC 15-10. Bryant has won its conference championship four times and never made it to Omaha.

Player to Watch: NC State catcher Jacob Cozart is the 39th-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 150 draft Rankings. Cozart has 16 home runs, 48 RBI, and an OPS of 1.004 in 195 at-bats this season.

Schedule: Friday, May 31.

South Carolina (36-23) will play James Madison (34-23) at 2 p.m. on ESPN+.

NC State (33-20) will play Bryant (36-19) at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

 

Region Seven

Georgia is the seventh overall seed and will host the Regional in Athens at Foley Field.

Teams: 

No.1 Georgia Bulldogs—Georgia lost to LSU and were eliminated from the SEC Tournament in their first game. Georgia has never won a conference tournament but has appeared in the College World Series six times. Georgia won the College World Series and was the runner-up once.

No.2 UNCW Seahawks— The University of North Carolina Wilmington beat Charleston 6-4 to win the CAA Conference Championship. They have won their conference championship eight times and have never made it to Omaha.

No.3 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets—Georgia Tech went 0-2 in the ACC Tournament with losses to Virginia and Florida State. Georgia Tech has won nine ACC Tournaments and made it to Omaha three times.

No.4 Army West Point—The Army won the Patriot League Tournament Championship with a 3-0  win against the Navy. Army has won four straight Patriot League Tournament Championships and has won it a total of 12 times. They have never made it to the College World Series.

Player to Watch: Georgia Third Baseman Charlie Codon is the top-ranked draft prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 150 Draft Prospects. He set the single-season BBCOR era home record with 35 home runs since the bats were switched in 2012. He also set the Georgia single-season and all-time home run records with 60. Condon’s career batting average of .414 has him on pace to break their all-time average record.

Schedule: Friday, May 31.

Georgia (39-15) will play Army West Point (31-21) at 1 p.m. on ESPN+.

UNCW (39-19) will play Georgia Tech (31-23) at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

Super Regionals: The Raleigh Region and Athens Region winners will play in the Super Regionals.

This is part three of a four part series. Find part one here and part two here

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Julian Guilarte