Admittedly, most of us in Ohio are not entirely familiar with how the College World Series works. We haven’t had much of an opportunity to follow it, but with Kent State making the trip to Omaha this week, we’d better brush up on the basics.
Eight teams will go to Omaha for the CWS, but it is not anything like March Madness. One loss does not end your season here.
It is a double-elimination tournament, somewhat similar to the Regionals that brought Kent State past Purdue, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. You have to keep winning until everybody else has two losses. Only then can you continue to the championships.
The CWS is divided into two brackets – one team from each bracket will play for the championship. Bracket One consists of UCLA, Arizona, Florida State and Stony Brook. Bracket Two is Kent State, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.
Kent State will take on Arkansas on Saturday at 5pm. At 9pm, it’s Florida vs. South Carolina. The winners of those games advance to play each other on Monday at 9pm, while the losers will face off Monday at 5pm. The brackets continue until you lose twice, at which point you go home. The last team in each bracket standing will play a best-of 3 playoff to crown the champion.
It will take a minimum of three wins to get to the championship round, but it’s more likely to take four because of how the brackets are set up. So six wins total will get you the College World Series Championship.
Those are the basics.
If you’re watching this weekend to see Kent State win a title, that first game is VERY important. Losing the first game means you need four wins in a row to advance, and playing Florida or South Carolina with elimination on the line is far from an ideal situation. However, the odds are high that you will need to beat both of those teams to advance, possibly even knocking one of them off twice (like the Flashes did to Kentucky last week).
Best of luck, Kent State. Bring it home for us!