Omaha, NE – The NCAA Baseball tournament began on Friday, and it will end right here in Omaha.
Mississippi State threw the first pitch of the tournament against the Oklahoma Sooners in the opening game of the Tallahassee regional.
The bracket was released on Memorial Day, followed by a conference call for media. “There’s a lot of teams that can play really good baseball,” said NCAA Baseball Committee Chairman Ray Tanner, also the South Carolina Athletic Director. “It’s not easy to get to the 64.”
College baseball has been one of the NCAA’s less-prestigious sports until recently, as more programs across the country have given more resources to their baseball squads.
Several controversies surrounded the unveiling of the Regional round competitors and the bracket overall. One example would be the lopsided effort from teams of the South Eastern Conference: 10 SEC teams were selected for the tournament, and all SEC teams ranked in the Top 16 of the tournament are on one side of the bracket.
The Summit League, home to the Omaha Mavericks, produced one team for the tournament: Conference Champion Oral Roberts. It is ORU’s 19th straight conference championship.
The tournament features 16 campus host sites, with four teams at each location. Each regional will play a double-elimination tournament to select one champion to move to the next round.
The remaining 16 teams will compete in the Super Regional round on June 8th – 11th, where the field will be narrowed to the final 8 teams. These teams will play at TD Ameritrade Park on June 16th – June 26th/27th for the College World Series.
Featured games from the Regional round can be seen on ESPN and ESPN2. Viewers can also follow the scores on NCAA.com.
The Gateway will be covering the entire College World Series, as well as the entire #RoadtoOmaha. To follow all the action, visit UNOTheGateway.com and follow @UNOTheGateway on Twitter and Facebook.