There are plenty of ways to slice the remaining storylines of the College World Series. Which team is the favorite? Who are the top players? Who will emerge as a surprise hero? Who might be the goat?
But let's turn away from the players for a moment, and instead turn to the managers. Namely, which managers have the opportunity to add to their legacy in a big way?
Obviously, to make this list you have to have a pretty strong legacy in place, something the three men below share. But you can bet all three would like to add a national championship to their long list of accomplishments.
Pat Casey, Oregon State
Pat Casey doesn't always reach the College World Series, but when he does, he wins national championships. Well, at least he has in two of his previous three trips.
Can he make it three in four?
Oregon State will have a tough task, needing to beat Mississippi State twice just to reach the final. But if it does—and if the Beavers win a third national title in the past eight years—you can bet Casey will go down as one of the school's most successful coaches ever.
Mike Fox, North Carolina
Mike Fox has accomplished quite a bit at North Carolina. He's led North Carolina to the College World Series in six of the past eight seasons, and his team was the runner-up in 2006 and 2007. In his 15 seasons at the school, he's gone 688–271 and won two ACC conference tournaments and one regular season title.
But the one accomplishment he hasn't reached yet is a national championship with the Tar Heels.
He'll have his work cut out for him, as the team faces three elimination games to reach the final, needing to beat N.C. State and then UCLA twice. But considering his talented squad, I wouldn't bet against him.
Elliott Avent, North Carolina State
Until this season, Elliott Avent had never guided the Wolf Pack to a College World Series. Sure, being the winningest coach in the program's history was impressive, as were the 13 postseason appearances in 17 seasons, but when would N.C. State take the next step?
Perhaps it will be this year. While the Wolfpack need to win three straight games against North Carolina and UCLA, two traditional powers of college baseball, the team has the talent and experienced manager to reach the final.
Avent has accomplished just about everything he could for NC State. All that's left is a national championship.