College World Series Bracket 2012: Game-by-Game Preview and Predictions

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College World Series Bracket 2012: Game-by-Game Preview and Predictions
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Every sport has sacred traditions, many ranging back to the very birth of the competition itself. These conventions and customs are what compels players, coaches and fans to view these sports as more than just a game, but a ritual that will never go out of style or age with time.

For college baseball, that "tradition" is the College World Series. Hosted by Omaha, Nebraska, since 1950, the CWS holds a special place in the sport's heart, mind and soul. In honor of the sports dedication to Omaha, the city constructed an all-new stadium for the final round of the college playoffs, opening it for last season's tournament.  

With the Super Regionals finally coming to a close, the eight-team bracket has been set into place while the teams began their travel preparations. This year's grouping features not one, but two CWS first-timers in Stony Brook and Kent State mixed with storied veterans such as Florida State, Arizona and South Carolina.

The double-elimination tournament starts Friday, June 15 at 5 p.m. ET, pitting the best of the college world against each other in a final battle to the death. It's time for win or go home.

We take a look at the four first-round matchups, exploring the depth of each squad, its road to Omaha and what it must do to have any shot at bringing home the title.

The stakes are highest at the College World Series, but the prize is more than worth the risk.     

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