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Just like the other major college sports, there is a carrot at the end of the stick for the Division I baseball teams. The national champion is crowned at the end-of-season eight-team College World Series, which takes place in June at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. The baseball schedule is grueling, typically consisting of near 50 games in a season, which starts at the end of February and runs through May.

A total of 64 teams qualify for the postseason tournament, including conference champions and at-large teams. The field is whittled down to eight teams through Regionals and Super Regionals that take place in the weekends preceding the CWS. The 2023 NCAA Baseball Championship concludes with the Men’s College World Series, which starts on June 16 with the latest date of June 26. All of the action from the first pitch of the tournament through the last of the College World Series can be found on the ESPN family of networks.

2023 College World Series

The 2023 College World Series will take place from June 16-26 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. There will be a total of eight teams competing in two double-elimination brackets with the bracket winners meeting for the college baseball national championship in a best-of-three series. The eight teams reaching the 2023 CWS are: Florida, LSU, Oral Roberts, Stanford, Tennessee, TCU, Virginia and Wake Forest.

The No. 1 team in the country nearly the entire season, Wake Forest boasts a number of MLB prospects led by ace Rhett Lowder. The righty is 15-0 with a 1.92 ERA this season helping the Deacs win 52 games and putting them at the top of the odds board to win their second national championship and first since 1955. The team with the longest odds, Oral Roberts stunned Oregon in the Eugene Super Regional and while the Golden Eagles don’t have the big names or brand recognition, they are a scrappy team that enters the CWS with a 51-12 record.

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2023 College World Series Schedule

Friday, June 16 - Bracket 1

Game 1: Oral Roberts vs. TCU

Game 2: Virginia vs. Florida

Saturday, June 17 - Bracket 2

Game 3: Stanford vs. Wake Forest

Game 4: Tennessee vs. LSU

Sunday, June 18 - Bracket 1

Game 5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2

Game 6: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2

Monday, June 19 - Bracket 2

Game 7: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4

Game 8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4

Tuesday, June 20

Game 9: Winner G5 vs. Loser G6

Game 10: Winner G7 vs. Loser G8

Wednesday, June 21

Game 11: Winner G6 vs. Winner G9

Game 12: Winner G8 vs. Winner G10

Thursday, June 22

Game 13: Winner G11 vs. Loser G11 (if first loss)

Game 14: Winner G12 vs. Loser G12 (if first loss)

College World Series Finals

Game 1: Saturday, June 24

Game 2: Sunday, June 25

Game 3: Monday, June 26 (if necessary)

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NCAA Baseball Tournament Format

Just like the NCAA basketball tournament, there are automatic qualifiers for all conference champions. But unlike the NCAA Tournament, a college baseball team's season ends after two losses, not just one. On the eve of the selection of the brackets for the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the selection committee releases the top 16 seeds. Those 16 teams host a four-team regional. Teams are seeded 1 through 4 in each mini-bracket, with No. 1 playing No. 4 in one game and No. 2 playing No. 3 in the other. The two winners face off in the second round of games, while the two losers meet in an elimination game on the same day.

From there, the two teams with one-loss meet in a second elimination game, while the 2-0 team can rest. Whichever team emerges from the second one-loss game will have to win two games against the unbeaten club to advance. From there, the 16 remaining teams face off in Super Regionals. The teams are bracketed together just like in basketball, so you could easily see a pair of 4-seeds facing off for the right to go to the College World Series. The Super Regionals are a best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the CWS. In the College World Series, teams are split into two brackets of four, and the whole process begins again. The survivors of the two brackets play against each other in a best-of-three series to determine the National Champion.

Oregon State became the ninth school to win at least three national championships by downing Arkansas in three games in the 2018 CWS. The Beavers rallied from the losers bracket to advance to the final, where they again overcame a loss to win the next two games. The Beavers also won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, USC was the dominant program. There were fewer teams at that point, thus it shouldn't be surprising that a national powerhouse was able to stay on top for a long period of time. The Trojans won nine titles during those two decades, including a run of five straight from 1970-1974. USC’s 12 NCAA Tournament championships are double that of any other school.

LSU has been the team of the 1990s and early-2000s. The Tigers didn't even reach the College World Series for the first time until 1986. The Tigers won four titles in the 1990s and their other two in the 2000s. Texas is the other team with six championships. The Longhorns have won titles dating as far back as 1949 all the way up to 2005, and their 38 CWS appearances is 13 more than Miami.

Florida State holds the record for the most College World Series appearances without a National Championship with 23.

NCAA Baseball Tournament Champions (2000)

2022 Mississippi Oklahoma
2021 Mississippi State Vanderbilt
2020 Tournament Cancelled
2019 Vanderbilt Michigan
2018 Oregon State Arkansas
2017 Florida LSU
2016 Coastal Carolina Arizona
2015 Virginia Vanderbilt
2014 Vanderbilt Virginia
2013 UCLA Mississippi State
2012 Arizona South Carolina
2011 South Carolina Florida
2010 South Carolina UCLA
2009 LSU Texas
2008 Fresno State Georgia
2007 Oregon State North Carolina
2006 Oregon State North Carolina
2005 Texas Florida
2004 Cal State Fullerton Texas
2003 Rice Stanford
2002 Texas South Carolina
2001 Miami Stanford
2000 LSU Stanford

Coastal Carolina is one of the most improbable champions in the history of the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Chanticleers were the 2-seed in the Raleigh Regional in 2016, winning two of three games against N.C. State before sweeping LSU in the Super Regional. Playing in their first ever College World Series, the Chants started off by upsetting top-seed Florida before rolling into the final. Coastal Carolina finished the job by winning Games 2 and 3 over the Wildcats after getting shutout in Game 1, thus completing one of the great accomplishments in the history of college baseball.

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