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College World Series 2016: TV Schedule and Predictions from Omaha

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJune 15, 2016

Coastal Carolina's Connor Owings (6) reacts with Billy Cooke after scoring on an RBI single off the bat of G.K. Young in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Associated Press

In an NCAA tournament dominated by SEC and ACC powerhouses, underdogs instead comprise most of the 2016 College World Series field.

Seventeen schools from the two major conferences made up the 64-team bracket, but Florida is the lone SEC squad standing while Miami represents the final ACC competitor. Those two and Texas Tech were the only hosting clubs to survive the Super Regionals.

Five of the eight teams remaining have never won a national title. Two (UC Santa Barbara and Coastal Carolina) are advancing to Omaha's final stage for the first time in their program's history. The tournament has delivered suspense in droves so far, and the fun is far from over.

The teams will split into two brackets, which will each produce one winner in double-elimination play similar to the regional's format. Those two will then battle in a best-of-three slate beginning June 27 to determine the champion.

Let's take a look at the College World Series schedule before breaking down both brackets.

2016 College World Series Schedule
GameDateMatchupTime (ET)TV
1June 18UC Santa Barbara vs. Oklahoma State3 p.m.ESPN2
2June 18Miami (Fla.) vs. Arizona8 p.m.ESPN2
3June 19Texas Tech vs. TCU3 p.m.ESPNU
4June 19Florida vs. Coastal Carolina8 p.m.ESPN2
5June 20Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 22 p.m.ESPNU
6June 20Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 27 p.m.ESPN
7June 21Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 45 p.m.ESPN2
8June 21Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 49 p.m.ESPN
9June 22Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 67 p.m.ESPN
10June 23Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 88 p.m.ESPN2
11June 24Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 93 p.m.ESPN2
12June 24Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 108 p.m.ESPN
13*June 25Loser of Game 11 (if first loss) vs. Winner of Game 11TBDTBD
14*June 25Loser of Game 12 (if first loss) vs. Winner of Game 12TBDTBD
15June 27Finals Game 17 p.m.ESPN
16June 28Finals Game 28 p.m.ESPN
17June 29Finals Game 38 p.m.ESPN
NCAA.com; *=if necessary

  

Bracket 1

TeamRecordConference
Miami (Fla.)50-12ACC
Arizona44-21Pac-12
UC Santa Barbara41-18Big 12
Oklahoma State41-20Big West
NCAA.com

This bracket wields all the experience. Miami, Arizona and Oklahoma State have compiled a combined 62 College World Series appearances and nine titles.

UC Santa Barbara, however, is new in town.

The Gauchos punched their first ticket to Nebraska in dramatic fashion, eliminating top-seeded Louisville with a walk-off grand slam from Sam Cohen. The freshman catcher had gone deep once all year before hitting a pinch-hit homer off of closer Zack Burdi, who the Chicago White Sox recently drafted in the first round.

"That was my first walk-off. I still can't believe it," Cohen said, per the Associated Press' Gary B. Graves.

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Finding a rooting interest is easy for anyone that is fond of a Cinderella story. Having already earned three one-run victories this tournament, UC Santa Barbara must continue to walk a tightrope against stout adversaries to sustain its improbable run.

Oklahoma State has outscored its opposition 35-6 to win all five tournament contests. Sophomore ace Thomas Hatch—selected in the third round by the Chicago Cubs—has tossed seven shutout innings in each of his last two starts.

The Cowboys offense has performed well beyond its .766 OPS, so they'll need to pitch their way to a championship. This will prove difficult with Arizona sporting a .383 on-base percentage and Miami hitting .300/.402/.432.

If they rake the way they usually do, the Hurricanes will pillage through this bracket behind the boisterous bats of catcher Zack Collins and first baseman Willie Abreu.

Pick: Miami

Bracket 2

TeamRecordConference
Florida51-14SEC
Coastal Carolina49-16Big South
TCU47-16Big 12
Texas Tech46-18Big 12
NCAA.com

Nobody in this quadrant has ever won it all, but it's still the stronger bracket. Led by 52-14 Florida, each team has accumulated at least 46 victories.

Hitting .280/.373/.422, the Gators are the least-potent offense of the bunch. Texas Tech has scored one more run (451) than TCU, accruing an .850 OPS to the Horned Frogs' .855. Heating up during the tournament, the Aggies have scored 47 runs in seven games after advancing with an 11-0 victory over East Carolina.

Their erratic pitching has also surfaced, surrendering eight runs during an opening loss to East Carolina. A young rotation must now stifle premier sluggers, most notably an unassuming murderers' row.

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Having scored 5.3 runs per game in the tournament, Coastal Carolina has actually performed well below its yearly average of 7.5. With four players recording at least 15 home runs, the offense is collectively hitting .300/.402./486.

Florida must derail this group on Sunday. They can turn to Logan Shore, who fended off elimination against Florida State with nine strikeouts over eight scoreless frames. SEC Network's Twitter account examined the junior's stellar outing:

SEC Network @SECNetwork

“That's what the #Gators are all about... getting back to Omaha.” Logan Shore. Lights Out. https://t.co/HXCRSsFhDh https://t.co/B5VtWJanjI

Shore and first-round draft pick A.J. Puk make Florida the prohibitive favorite. Yet the Gators can consult SEC foe LSU about not taking Coastal Carolina lightly. The Chanticleers knocked off the Tigers twice, including a walk-off win that extended into the early hours of Monday morning.

In a bracket full of offense, Coastal Carolina's ferocious sluggers pound their way to another upset, setting up a David vs. Goliath final showdown. It may seem like a stretch, but who would have predicted everything else that has already transpired?

Pick: Coastal Carolina

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