College Baseball Regionals 2014: Schedule and Most Intriguing Brackets to Watch

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 29, 2014

Virginia third baseman John La Prise makes the throw to first as a Florida State runner advances to third during the eighth inning of an Atlantic Coast Conference college baseball tournament game in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, May 24, 2014. Florida State won 6-4. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

The college baseball postseason is unlike anything else in sports. 

Sixteen separate four-team, double-elimination tournaments is a format that is not only a unique way to begin the Road to Omaha, but it is sure to produce a slew of rivalry games. While every single regional is sure to provide plenty of excitement, though, there are a few in particular that look especially enticing. 

Let's take a look. 

 

Schedule

Corvallis RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Oregon State vs. No. 4 North Dakota StateFriday, May 3011 p.m.ESPNU
No. 2 UNLV vs. No. 3 UC IrvineFriday, May 305 p.m.ESPN3
Stillwater RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Oklahoma State vs. No. 4 BinghamtonFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Nebraska vs. No. 3 Cal State FullertonFriday, May 301 p.m.ESPNU
Houston RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Rice vs. No. 4 George MasonFriday, May 308 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Texas A&MFriday, May 304 p.m.ESPNU
Baton Rouge RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Southeastern LouisianaFriday, May 303 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 3 BryantFriday, May 308 p.m.ESPN3
Tallahassee RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Georgia SouthernFriday, May 306 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Kennesaw StateFriday, May 30NoonESPN3
Louisville RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 4 Kent StateFriday, May 306 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 KansasFriday, May 302 p.m.ESPN3
Nashville RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Vanderbilt vs. No. 4 XavierFriday, May 308 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 ClemsonFriday, May 301 p.m.ESPN3
Bloomington RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Youngstown StateFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Indiana State vs. No. 3 StanfordFriday, May 302 p.m.ESPN3
Gainesville RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 CharlestonFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Long Beach State vs. No. 3 North CarolinaFriday, May 301 p.m.ESPN3
Coral Gables RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 4 Bethune-CookmanFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 3 ColumbiaFriday, May 302 p.m.ESPN3
San Luis Obispo RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Cal Poly vs. No. 4 Sacramento StateFriday, May 309 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Arizona State vs. No. 3 PepperdineFriday, May 304 p.m.ESPN3
Fort Worth RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 TCU vs. No. 4 SienaFriday, May 308 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Dallas Baptist vs. No. 3 Sam Houston StateFriday, May 303:30 p.m.ESPN3
Lafayette RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 La.-Lafayette vs. No. 4 Jackson StateFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Mississippi State vs. No. 3 San Diego StateFriday, May 302 p.m.ESPN3
Oxford RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Ole Miss vs. No. 4 Jacksonville StateFriday, May 308 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Georgia TechFriday, May 304 p.m.ESPN3
Columbia RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 CampbellFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 3 Old DominionFriday, May 301 p.m.ESPN3
Charlottesville RegionalDateTime (ET)TV
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 BucknellFriday, May 302 p.m.ESPN3
No. 2 Arkansas vs. No. 3 LibertyFriday, May 307 p.m.ESPNU
NCAA.com

These are just the first games in each regional. Future contests will be determined based on the winners. You can find the full bracket and schedule for each regional right here, courtesy of NCAA.com. 

 

Houston Regional

George Clark/Associated Press

You aren't going to find many weaknesses when it comes to Rice's baseball team.

Wayne Graham's team hit .339 during the Conference USA tournament and ranks ninth nationally in fielding percentage. Pitching was expected to be the Owls' Achilles' heel when Jordan Stephens was lost to Tommy John surgery and top MLB prospect Zech Lemond went out with elbow inflammation, but that has turned into arguably the team's biggest strength. 

Sophomore Blake Fox has assumed the role of ace, going 12-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 14 starts, while Matt Ditman (nine saves, 1.72 ERA) has taken over the closer role. Lemond is now back, and the Owls rank 12th in the nation in ERA. 

All that being said, however, numbers have a tendency of quickly being thrown out the window during rivalries, and this regional is full of those. 

In a reunion of the old Southwest Conference, Texas and Texas A&Mwhich, by the way, will reunite for the first time since 2012 before the Aggies left for the SEC—will join Rice in Houston:

There is absolutely no love lost between any of these three teams. Texas and Rice have met 278 times in school history, while Texas and Texas A&M have paired up 368 times, per the Longhorns' official athletics website.

However, while the history is extensive, it's rare that we see these teams in the postseason together. Texas and Rice have split two games in regional play, while the Longhorns and Aggies have yet to meet in NCAA championship play. 

They say everything is bigger in Texas. That will be on display at Reckling Park as state bragging rights go up for grabs. 

 

Oxford Regional

Bob Leverone/Associated Press

This is arguably the most difficult regional. 

Ole Miss went 41-18 overall and 19-11 in the stacked SEC conference, which sent a record 10 teams to the postseason. Washington finished second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon State, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, and had a strong case to host a regional. Georgia Tech was a bit inconsistent during the regular season, but the Yellow Jackets powered through Greensboro, going 4-1 to win the ACC tournament and earn an automatic bid. 

The Rebels are a solid No. 1, the Huskies are a No. 2 that could be a No. 1 and the Yellow Jackets are a No. 3 that could be a No. 2. It is the only regional to feature three teams in Baseball America's Top 25

"Jacksonville State, Georgia Tech, and Washington are all three very good teams," said Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis. "I'm excited to get out there and get playing against them. I'd rather play against some tough teams than have a cakewalk."

The nature of baseball makes it difficult to win a tournament like this, just because games tend to be more unpredictable. But getting to the super regional out of Oxford is going to take a near perfect performance. 

 

Charlottesville Regional

ANDREW SHURTLEFF/Associated Press

Star power. Liberty and Bucknell may not pique a whole lot of interest nationally, but the top two seeds—Virginia and Arkansasfeature seven of Baseball America's Top 200 MLB prospects. 

If a scout could only choose one college baseball team to watch, most would eagerly pick the Cavaliers.

While the preseason No. 1 hasn't always been consistent with the bats (96th in America with a .277 batting average), it has the power to change games. Mike Papi led the ACC with 10 bombs, while Brandon Downes and Derek Fisher also carry big sticks. 

On the mound, Nick Howard is an electrifying closer, while Nathan Kirby, who has a minuscule 1.48 ERA and struck out 18 batters during a no-hitter against Pittsburgh earlier this season, is one to keep your eye on for 2015. 

But the Razorbacks aren't lacking in the prospect department, either. 

Brian Anderson is hitting .311/.384/.469 and provides terrific athleticism at second base, and Chris Oliver and Jalen Beeks are two lights-out starters. The former has been dealing with an elbow injury, but he hopes to make some kind of impact. 

“I’m ready to be back, wherever I can,” he told the Arkansas News Bureau's Robbie Neiswanger. “We don’t know the rotation yet or anything. I just know whoever goes out there is going to do a good job.” 

Either way, there is going to be MLB talent all over Davenport Field this weekend.