The 2013 College World Series bracket is nearly complete, as we’re now one week away from naming the national champion.
This year’s bracket has yet to disappoint. There have been plenty of back-and-forth games, several upsets and fantastic performance after fantastic performance—both on the mound and from the batter’s box.
At this point, there are only six teams still in contention for the national championship. By Friday morning, there will be just four. By Sunday morning, the field will be narrowed to just two programs, which will compete in the best-of-three Championship Series.
So, what does the remaining schedule look like? And which program is likely to win it all? Let’s take a look at the two games that are set in stone, what the bracket final matchups will look like and then what will happen when the last two teams take each other on with the title on the line.
Complete College World Series Schedule
|9||Wed., June 19||8 p.m.||Oregon St.||Indiana|
|10||Thurs., June 20||8 p.m.||NC State||North Carolina|
|11||Fri., June 21||3 p.m.||Mississippi St.||Game 9 Winner|
|12||Fri., June 21||8 p.m.||UCLA||Game 10 Winner|
|13||Sat., June 22*||3 p.m.||Game 11 Winner||Game 11 Loser|
|14||Sat., June 22*||8:30 p.m.||Game 12 Winner||Game 12 Loser|
|F1||Mon., June 24||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner|
|F2||Tues., June 25||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner|
|F3||Wed., June 26*||8 p.m.||Bracket 1 Winner||Bracket 2 Winner|
Indiana vs. Oregon State
Chance of Winning Game: Indiana (55 Percent), Oregon State (45 Percent)
Oregon St. has shown that it knows how to hit, scoring 11 runs on Louisville in the loser’s bracket, but the Beavers haven’t faced the Indiana pitching staff. Matt Boyd (OSU) is expected to take on Aaron Slegers (IND), and the edge goes to the Hoosiers’ hurler.
Slegers has yet to appear in a game in Omaha, and he's going to shut down the Oregon St. offense. He’s been great throughout the season and has a Joey DeNato-like performance in his pocket. Boyd threw an inning against Mississippi St., allowing a run on two hits. There’s a lot of pressure on him to pitch well for the No. 3 Beavers.
Prediction: Indiana 3, Oregon State 1
Mississippi St. vs. Indiana (Predicted Matchup)
Chance of Winning Series: Mississippi St. (70 Percent), Indiana (30 Percent)
Mississippi St. barely defeated Indiana when the two programs took each other on in the winner’s bracket. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the top of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Indiana would threaten, scoring a run in the bottom half of the frame, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Indiana has a very good squad, but losing in its second game in Omaha really puts the Hoosiers at a disadvantage in the bracket final. It’s expected that if Indiana defeats Oregon St., DeNato would be on the mound for this game. It will be tough to throw another gem, and the Bulldogs will have plenty of time to prepare for him.
Prediction: Mississippi St. 4, Indiana 2 (Game 1)
NC State vs. UNC
Chance of Winning Game: NC State (50 Percent), UNC (50 Percent)
These two teams played each other a few days ago in Omaha, and NC State came out firing. The Wolfpack destroyed UNC ace Kent Emanuel en route to an 8-1 victory, sending UNC into the loser’s bracket and a loss away from getting eliminated. It was a bit of a shock considering the Tar Heels are the top-ranked team in the country.
But UNC isn’t going to let NC State rough it up another time. UNC just played a brilliant game against LSU, who was another favorite to win it all this year. NC State’s opening-game victory over the top seed will turn out to be a fluke, as the Tar Heels will get their anticipated revenge.
Prediction: UNC 7, NC State 2
UCLA vs. UNC (Predicted Matchup)
Chance of Winning Series: UCLA (65 Percent), UNC (35 Percent)
As I mentioned earlier, the undefeated team in the bracket final has a very good chance at advancing to the Championship Series. In this case, that program is UCLA. UCLA has looked very polished on the mound and at the plate, and it has great odds of winning the national championship.
UNC is good enough where the Tar Heels should be able to force a second game against the Bruins. Both games should be very close, but I don’t expect the Bruins to lose back-to-back games to get eliminated. Look for UNC to take the first game of the series, and then UCLA to win the second to advance to the final.
Prediction: UNC 3, UCLA 2 (Game 1) & UCLA 4, UNC 1 (Game 2)
Mississippi St. vs. UCLA (Predicted Matchup)
Chance of Winning Series: Mississippi St. (45 Percent), UCLA (55 Percent)
This predicted Championship Series is bound to be very exciting. Mississippi St. has the superior offense, but UCLA’s pitching staff is better. So, who comes out on top? Well, I’m going to go with the Bruins’ pitching staff, as they will be able to shut down the Bulldogs’ bats.
There’s a chance that Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig could both be pitching in the national championship, and that wouldn’t bode well for Mississippi St. Both have been extremely good this year, and the Bruins’ bullpen knows how to hold a lead like no other program in the nation.
The national champion will need to win two games to secure the title, and UCLA has what it takes to win a pair against a team like Mississippi St. While the Bruins weren’t the favorites entering Omaha, they’ve shown that they can compete with the best. UCLA will be the last team standing, as the Bruins will be crowned the champions of college baseball.
Prediction: UCLA 5, Mississippi St. 4 (Game 1) & UCLA 6, Mississippi St. 3 (Game 2)