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The 2016 NCAA Baseball Regional Primer #RoadToOmaha #CollegeWorldSeries

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The Road to Omaha just took on a bigger meaning since now 64 teams from around the country will fight to end up at TD Ameritrade Park. Found out how each regional is set up and how B1G teams will fare in this year's NCAA tournament.

The Road to Omaha begins...
The Road to Omaha begins...
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Road to Omaha was the rally cry for many B1G teams this year as that was the place where the postseason conference tournament was held. However, now that our little contest is done that was only the preliminaries in what expands into something a little more grand. As was announced on Monday 64 teams will now use that phrase to push themselves to the city by the river where only eight will fight for the title of best in the land.

This year the B1G may not have sent as many teams as 2015 but with the ones that are going they should represent the B1G well. But they are only a small piece in what is a really big puzzle. Here we will showcase each regional to give a sense of what lies ahead for the three teams continuing on.

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Gainesville Regional - Alfred A. McKethan Stadium

Host: Florida (#1 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Connecticut (37-23) vs. #2 Georgia Tech (36-23) 1 p.m. ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Florida (47-13) vs. #4 Bethune-Cookman (29-25) 6 p.m. SEC Network

Tallahassee Regional - Dick Howser Stadium

Host: Florida St.

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 South Alabama (40-20) vs. #2 Southern Miss (40-18) Noon on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Florida State (37-20) vs. #4 Alabama State (38-15) 6 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Florida - They are the number one overall seed and have been hovering around #1 in the polls/RPI all year. Gators have an excellent rotation of Shore, Puk, Faedo who, as a pitching staff, led the nation with 10 strikeouts per nine innings. That plus the experience from going to the CWS last year should make Florida the team to beat.

Who could make the CWS?

FSU - The Seminoles are in a similar position as last year in having to face Florida in the Supers if they get out of Tallahassee. Did get rocked in the ACC tourney losing 18-13 to Clemson in the final so that could still be in the back of their minds. If the Noles are not up to the task look for Southern Miss. to take their place since they have a great offense led by senior first baseman Tim Lynch.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Outside of hoping for another UF-FSU super regional matchup see if fellow 'Northern' school UCONN can be a fly in the ointment on the Gators tourney run. Plus the directional Southern matchup in Tallahassee should be good since South Alabama took two from Southern Miss. earlier this year.
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Raleigh Regional - Doak Field

Host: North Carolina State

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 St. Mary's (Ca.) (33-23) vs. #2 Coastal Carolina (44-15) 2 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 NC State (35-20) vs. #4 Navy (42-14) 7 p.m. on ESPN3

Baton Rouge Regional - Alex Box Stadium

Host: LSU (#8 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #1 LSU (42-18) vs. #4 Utah Valley (37-21) 3 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #3 Southeastern Louisiana (39-19) vs. #2 Rice (35-22) 8 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

LSU - Ever since the Tigers got some mojo from their marsupial friends (#rallypossum) LSU has been hard to beat and played their way into a national seed. They do have ace Alex Lange on the mound but lost a lot from last year's CWS squad. However, coach Mainieri guided this young team through a tough SEC conference and have them poised to make it back to Omaha.

Who could make the CWS?

Coastal Carolina - Upset alert! The Chanticleers have a good record, great offense, and defeated some good teams over the course of the year (RPI is 12). It would not be surprising to see them advancing especially since NCST needs to get by Navy who is a tough out each time they play in the NCAAs.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Some upsets can certainly happen in Raleigh but most eyes will probably be on Baton Rouge where the Tigers mix in good baseball with zany magic/luck and just have an overall great atmosphere. Should also watch to see if the rally possum makes another appearance.
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Lubbock Regional - Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park

Host: Texas Tech (#5 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #1 Texas Tech (41-16) vs. #4 Fairfield (32-24) 3 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #3 New Mexico (38-21) vs. #2 Dallas Baptist (41-17) 7 p.m. on ESPN3

Charlottesville Regional - Davenport Field

Host: Virginia

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #1 Virginia (37-20) vs. #4 William & Mary (29-29) 1p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #3 East Carolina (34-21-1) vs. #4 Bryant (47-10) 6 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Texas Tech - One of the best Big XII teams by far who won the Big 12 regular-season title and was pretty good in RPI all year. The Red Raiders got a taste for CWS action two years ago and they want to return.

Who could make the CWS?

Virginia - Has been to the last two CWS finals and is the current defending champion so you know they have the experience. This year they have been up and down (much like last year) but are in a better position this time around since they lead things off with hosting a regional as opposed to being a #3 seed.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

See if Virginia coach and Omaha native Brian O'Connor can make it three in a row on CWS finals appearances. Or if Texass will back up a dump truck full of money at his place trying to lure him to Austin.
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Fort Worth Regional - Lupton Stadium

Host: TCU

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Gonzaga (35-19) vs. #2 Arizona State (34-21) 3p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 TCU (42-15) vs. #4 Oral Roberts (38-19) 7:30 on ESPN3

College Station Regional - Blue Bell Park

Host: Texas A&M (#4 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Wake Forest (34-25) vs. #2 Minnesota (34-20) 4p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Texas A&M (45-14) vs. #4 Binghamton (30-23) 9 p.m. on SEC Network

Who should make the CWS?

Texas A&M - Aggies won the SEC tournament (beating four top ten teams in a row) and was close to winning the regular season. They also have a great pitching staff plus SEC Player of the Year Boomer White.

Who could make the CWS?

TCU - Wants a potential super regional rematch with Texas A&M which was an epic fight the Horned Frogs won last year. They have the experience on this squad since they have been to the last two CWS and looking to go again for a third entrance to Omaha.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Obviously see if B1G regular season champs Minnesota can derail the Aggies dreams of going to Omaha. Its a tougher regional but if the Gopher bats do what they've been doing all year then they certainly have a shot.
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Louisville Regional - Jim Patterson Stadium

Host: Louisville (#2 overall seed)

Friday, June 3

Game 1: #3Wright State (44-15) vs. #2 Ohio State (43-18-1) 2 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Louisville (47-12) vs. #4 Western Michigan (22-32) 6 p.m. On ESPN3

Nashville Regional - Hawkins Field

Host: Vanderbilt

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Washington (32-21) vs. #2 UC Santa Barbara (37-18-1) 3 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Vanderbilt (43-17) vs. #4 Xavier (30-28) 8 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Louisville - Cardinals may not have won the ACC like they did last year but this team is still deadly considering they finished the year #1 in RPI. They enjoy moving on the basepaths and have a deep pitching staff. Also, Louisville only lost just once all season at home which makes the job of knocking them out that much tougher.

Who could make the CWS?

Vanderbilt - Much like Virginia the Commodores are looking to make it back to the finals for the third year in a row. Vandy always seems to have great pitching and this year is no different. However, lurking in the shadows are the Buckeyes who may be the hottest team in the country right now winning 17 of their last 20 games. If Ohio State can catch the Cardinals off guard the Buckeyes can make a run at a return trip to Omaha.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

See if Ronnie Dawson and Co. can make a return trip to Omaha after they took the B1G tournament crown. Louisville will be a tough out but the Buckeyes have the firepower on offense to compete.

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Columbia Regional - Founders Park

Host: South Carolina

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Duke (33-22) vs. #2 UNC Wilmington (39-17) 1 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 South Carolina (42-15) vs. #4 Rhode Island (30-25) 7 p.m. on ESPN3

Clemson Regional - Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Host: Clemson (#7 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Nebraska (37-20) vs. #2 Oklahoma State (36-20) Noon on ESPNU
Game 2: #1 Clemson (42-18) vs. #4 Western Carolina (30-29) 7 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Clemson - The tigers won an extremely deep ACC tournament smoking FSU 18-13 in the final. They also led the ACC in home runs this season led by freshman outfielder Seth Beer who had 16 dingers and earned him the ability to be the first rookie ever to win the ACC's player of the year honors.

Who could make the CWS?

If the Tigers somehow don't advance there are several different teams in this section that can take their place. South Carolina is an SEC battle tested veteran in regards to the NCAAs and they are hosting so the home field advantage helps. Duke is an option as well considering they have series wins over regional hosts Clemson and FSU. Oklahoma State has a nice well rounded team so they can make some noise too.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

See if the Huskers can make it out of the Clemson regional which is in contention for 'Pool Regional of Death' status. Nebraska would like to have Scott Schreiber back (.320 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs) to try and match the offensive firepower that a majority of these teams have. If not they'll look to Ryan Boldt and Ben Miller to try and get some runs on the board.
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Starkville Regional - Davis Wade Stadium

Host: Mississippi State (#6 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #1 Mississippi State (41-16-1) vs. #4 Southern Missouri State (39-19) 2:30 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #3 Louisiana Tech (40-18) vs. #2 Cal State Fullerton (35-21) 7:30 p.m. on ESPN3

Lafayette Regional - M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field

Host: Louisiana Lafayette

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Sam Houston State (41-20) vs. #2 Arizona (38-20) 2 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Louisiana Lafayette (41-19) vs. #4 Princeton (24-19) 8 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Mississippi St. - Won the SEC regular season for the first time since 1989 and they did it by having a good offense that can score in bunches. Plus, the atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium gives the Bulldogs a great leg up on the competition (puns!).

Who could make the CWS?

Louisiana Lafayette - Ragin' Cajuns not only have a cool nickname but the nation's longest win streak (tied with Coastal Carolina) entering the tourney. They want to make it back to the supers and avenge last year's loss to LSU.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

Both hosts Miss. St. and Lafayette seem to have pretty easy paths to the supers but don't sleep on Cal St. Fullerton and Arizona who are waiting for them to slip up. Could make for some great Saturday night baseball in those respective regionals.

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Oxford Regional - Swayze Field

Host: Mississippi

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Boston College (31-20) vs. #2 Tulane (39-19) 4 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Ole Miss (43-17) vs. #4 Utah (25-27) 8 p.m. on ESPN3

Coral Gables Regional - Mark Light Field

Host: Miami (#3 overall seed)

Friday, June 3
Game 1: #3 Long Beach State (36-20) vs. #2 Florida Atlantic (38-17) 1 p.m. on ESPN3
Game 2: #1 Miami (Fla.) (45-11) vs. #4 Stetson (29-29) 7 p.m. on ESPN3

Who should make the CWS?

Miami - Hurricanes made a great case for being a national seed with winning the ACC which sent a ridiculous 10 teams to the tournament. Having a top 5 RPI all year certainly helps too. This team is probably one of the more well rounded squads in the tournament and considering they seem to have a permanent summer home in Omaha don't be surprised if they make a return trip.

Who could make the CWS?

Who ever wins that Oxford regional since that also has 'Pool Regional of Death' written all over it. Should be fun to watch.

For B1G fans who don't watch college baseball at all, what do you want to watch for?

See if Jim Morris, Miami's coach the past 1,000 years (numbers approximate), can add another title to the storied Hurricane program since he is set to retire in a couple of years. Outside of that check out that Oxford regional for possible wackiness and fireworks.

All times Eastern

WHO IS GOING TO OMAHA? Prediction

Smart man's bet would be on either an SEC or ACC team considering there are four SEC teams as national seeds and both conferences combined for 13 regional hosts. That said my "expert" analysis says these teams will be in Omaha come mid-June:

Florida, LSU, Virginia, Texas A&M, Louisville, Clemson, Mississippi St., Miami

...yeah, so pretty much chalk but in college baseball go with chalk when making predictions and expect some upsets along the way.

*Bonus* Softball Update

Michigan advanced to the WCWS last week and play continues this weekend down in Oklahoma City. The Wolverines were supposed to play LSU last night but weather pushed everything back a day. Here is their schedule so far:

#2 Michigan vs. #10 LSU June 3rd 9:30 EST ESPN2