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College World Series 2016: Latest Championship Predictons and Schedule

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2016

Oklahoma State's Jensen Elliott (34) pitches against Arizona in the first inning of an NCAA men's College World Series baseball game, Friday, June 24, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Associated Press

Only four teams remain in the College World Series, and none of them are what we expected heading into the NCAA tournament.

Not only are all of the eight seeded teams officially eliminated, but only TCU remains among teams that hosted a regional. Arizona, Oklahoma State and Coastal Carolina were all No. 2 seeds that have somehow kept their momentum from the first round until this point, where they are on the brink of a CWS final.

Of course, things only get more intense from here, as the players are so close to a national championship they can taste it. Here is what you need to know about the last few games of the college baseball season, as four teams vie for the title.

Remaining College World Series Schedule
GameDateMatchupTime (ET)TV
11June 24Arizona vs. Oklahoma State3 p.m.ESPN2
12June 24Coastal Carolina vs. TCU8 p.m.ESPN
13June 25Game 11 Rematch (If Necessary)TBDTBD
14June 25Game 12 Rematch (If Necessary)TBDTBD
15June 27CWS Finals Game 17 p.m.ESPN
16June 28CWS Finals Game 28 p.m.ESPN
17June 29CWS Finals Game 3 (If Necessary)8 p.m.ESPN
Source: NCAA.com

College World Series bracket available at NCAA.com.

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Everyone is playing well to reach this stage, but no one has been better than Oklahoma State. The squad is one win away from reaching the finals thanks to an almost flawless run through the NCAA tournament.

The Cowboys are still undefeated in seven postseason games, allowing just six (!) total runs in this stretch. The pitching staff hasn't allowed more than two runs in a single contest and posted two 1-0 shutouts in Omaha, Nebraska. All told, Oklahoma State has outscored the opposition 37-6 in the seven wins.

While this has required a team effort, the real star has been ace pitcher Thomas Hatch. The sophomore threw a complete-game shutout against UC Santa Barbara in the first game of the CWS, lifting his postseason to near Clayton Kershaw numbers in the process, per Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball:

Kendall Rogers @KendallRogers

With his start today, Thomas Hatch now at 23 IP, no runs allowed, five walks and 19 strikeouts in the NCAA postseason. That’s pretty decent

The problem for the rest of the field is he is not done.

Arizona has had its own great pitching in this tournament and especially over the past week, allowing just two runs in three games. However, the lineup has struggled with consistency this year, and you don't know what you will get outside of top players Zach Gibbons and Ryan Aguilar. Considering this group will have to beat Hatch to advance, its chances don't look good.

In the other side of the bracket, TCU has been the better team, but Coastal Carolina simply won't quit. Throughout the tournament, the team has shown the ability to win wild, high-scoring battles just as easily as low-scoring pitching duels. Different players have stepped up at different times, and it has led to plenty of success.

No. 9 hitter David Parrett led the Chanticleers to victory last game by going 2-for-4 with three RBI. He explained his mindset after the game:

Coastal Baseball @CoastalBaseball

"We're don't want to say goodbye to each other yet." - David Parrett. https://t.co/6TcfgNKtP8

"Why not us?" Parrett added, per ESPN.com's Ryan McGee. "On Friday night [versus TCU] some folks will be expecting us to lose and go home, again. And that's cool. People not expecting us to win has worked out pretty well for us so far."

TCU has plenty of talent, a deeper lineup, a true ace in Jared Janczak and more rest going into its rematch against Coastal Carolina. However, the underdogs haven't backed down from a fight yet, beating Texas Tech, Florida, North Carolina State and LSU, among others, in this tournament. Sometimes, it just takes the will to stay alive no matter the odds.

If Coastal Carolina does force an extra game, Andrew Beckwith will likely pitch the deciding battle after his gem against Florida to kick off the CWS. With his talent and the Chanticleers' scrappiness, they can find themselves in the final.

Although it might not be enough to beat red-hot Oklahoma State, it would still be an incredible accomplishment for the Big South squad.

Predicted Final: Oklahoma State over Coastal Carolina

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for year-round sports analysis.

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