Another 64 Team Bracket

Are you having withdrawals with the NCAA basketball tournament over?  Didn’t do well when completing your 64 team bracket?  Starting May 31 college baseball will begin the ascent to Omaha, where eight teams will do battle for the college world series championship of baseball.  They have their own 64 team bracket to begin the event, but instead of a final four you have an elite eight hoping for a trip to Omaha, Nebraska.  Another 64 team bracket awaits your completion.

If you follow the games you will find your potential no hitters.  Pitchers who strike out four hitters in an inning.  A game that will last 19 innings.  A player who will get hot and stroke three homeruns in one game.  There will be your Cinderella teams like Stoney Brook last year.  Your big game pitchers.  Intrigue.  Suspense.  Lots of pile ons after teams advance to the next round, where boys will be - well boys.

You can follow all this mayhem on ESPN, which beginning May 31 is scheduled to televise the potential for all 153 games.  You may wonder since there are 64 teams in this tournament why there could be a potential for 153 games.  This is because the regionals are divided into four team brackets and losing does not eliminate you from the tournament.  You can still rise from the losers bracket and still win your bracket.  That is the beauty of college baseball’s 64 team bracket.  A loss does not mean your season is history.  A team still has an opportunity to make amends.

Arizona won the College World Series last year.  They were 10-0 wending their way to the championship.  They prevented South Carolina from becoming a three time champion by defeating them 5-1 and 4-1 in a best of three championship.  South Carolina had big game pitcher Michael Roth who last year pitched for England in the World Baseball Classic qualifier and this year was the second player from the 2012 draft called up to the major leagues.

Michael Roth had pitched South Carolina to a 7-3 win against Florida in their first game at Omaha.  Florida had a pitcher Stephen “Paco” Rodriguez who appeared in relief in that game.  Paco was the first pitcher from the 2012 draft to appear in the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He pitched for Spain in the World Baseball Classic last year.

Paco threw to a catcher Mike Zunino.  Mike is considered one of the best catching prospects in baseball today and is expected to be called up this year by the Mariners to catch for their major league team.  If he doesn’t get called up he could be considered the top prospect in baseball next year.  Mike could have played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic last year if Italy needed a catcher.  His father played baseball in Italy and while there married an Italian softball player.

So there are a lot of good players who play in this tournament, some of whom you may see in 2014 play in the major leagues.  You can see last year’s bracket here: http://www.ncaa.com/brackets/baseball/d1

You never know who you will find participating in the event.  Perhaps the first pick in the 2013 draft Mark Appel.  ESPN hopes so.

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