The 2012 College World Series is coming to a close, but there are still some very big games to be played. Sixty-four teams began the journey in early June. The top-seeded teams were Florida, UCLA, Florida State, Baylor, Oregon, North Carolina, LSU and South Carolina.
The format calls for double elimination, making it difficult for lesser teams to beat the higher seeds; but as this year has shown us, it is not impossible. Stony Brook and Kent State have been Cinderellas as far as this tournament goes.
As of June 21, there are five teams that are still alive. In Bracket No. 1, Arizona and Florida State remain. Both Arizona and Florida State were ranked No. 1 in their Regionals.
In Bracket No. 2, the winner of the South Carolina/Kent State game will face Arkansas. South Carolina was a No. 1 in their regional, Arkansas was a No. 2 and Kent State was a No. 3.
In Bracket 1, the Florida State Seminoles face elimination when they play the Arizona Wildcats. It is double elimination in group play, and Florida State lost to Arizona 4-3 on June 15. The Wildcats can get to the Championship finals with a victory over Florida State on either Thursday, June 21 or Friday, June 22.
Arizona is unbeaten to this point in the tournament. In the Regionals, they beat Missouri 15-3 on June 1. They beat Louisville 16-4 on June 2, and they beat Louisville again 16-3 on June 3. In the Super-Regionals, the Wildcats beat St. Johns 7-6 on June 8, and they beat them again, 7-4 on June 9.
In the College World Series, the Wildcats beat Florida State 4-3 on June 15, and they beat UCLA 4-0 on June 17.
In the Regionals, Florida State beat UAB 2-1 on June 1, and beat Samford twice— first on June 2, 8-1; and again on June 3, 5-2. In the Super-Regionals, Florida State beat Stanford 17-1 on June 8. They beat Stanford again on June 10. The score was 18-7 and it put Florida State into the College World Series.
The Seminoles lost to Arizona 4-3 on June 15, but beat Stony Brook 12-2 on June 17, and followed that up by beating UCLA 4-1 on June 19.
In Bracket No. 2, Arkansas has lost one game to this point, and that means that every game they play is an elimination game. In the Regionals, they beat Sam Houston State 5-4 on June 1. They beat Rice 1-0 on June 2, and they beat Sam Houston State again 5-1 on June 3.
In the Super-Regionals, Arkansas lost to Baylor 8-1 on June 9. They followed that up with two wins over Baylor—5-4 on June 10, and 1-0 on June 11.
In the College World Series, Arkansas beat Kent State 8-1 on June 16, and they beat South Carolina 2-1 on June 18.
South Carolina came into the tournament as a favorite, and they have lost one game. In the Regionals, South Carolina beat Manhattan 7-0 on June 1, and Clemson twice—5-4 on June 2, and again on June 3, 4-3.
In the Super-Regionals, South Carolina beat Oklahoma 5-0 on June 9. They beat Oklahoma again on June 10. The score was 5-1 and it put South Carolina into the College World Series.
The Gamecocks beat Florida 7-3 on June 16, but lost to Arkansas 2-1 on June 18. They are playing Kent State on June 21, with the winner moving on to face Arkansas.
Kent State beat Kentucky 7-6 on June 1, Purdue 7-3 on June 2 and Kentucky again, 3-2 on June 3. In the Super-Regionals, they beat Oregon 7-6 on June 9, then lost to Oregon 3-2 on June 10, but then beat Oregon again, 3-2 on June 11.
In the College World Series, Kent State lost to Arkansas 8-1 on June 16; they beat Florida 5-4 on June 18 and are playing South Carolina in an elimination game, with the winner facing Arkansas.
When the Arizona Wildcats face the Florida State Seminoles on June 21, they will be looking for a win that will put them in the College World Series. Look for the Wildcats to come out with great pitching to shut down the Florida State offense.
South Carolina will be favored to beat Kent State, and that will put them in an elimination game versus Arkansas. South Carolina will be tired, as they will have already played Thursday because of a rainout on Wednesday.
Look for a rested Arkansas team to take out the South Carolina team to advance to the College World Series Finals. This means a matchup of Arizona and Arkansas.
The College World Series is a best–of-three set-up, and it will be a tough test for each team. This is a grind, and each team will have to rely upon its depth players to win the College World Series title.
Look for a three-game final, with all of the games being closely-played affairs. In the end, Arizona will be the 2012 College World Series Champions.