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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

College baseball fever

"Omaha is going to be amazing," senior Skylar Meade said.
While it sounds like Meade doesn't get out much, he's reflecting University of Louisville's excitement at its first trip to the College World Series.

The tournament in Omaha fields only eight teams and Louisville's RPI rating is 44. Ordinarily, that would make Louisville the Cinderella of this tournament. However, some other underdog participants include Mississippi State (25), Cal State Irvine (30), Cal State Fullerton (32), and Oregon State (34).

Try to imagine an NCAA hoops tournaments with an elite 8 including a seven seed, two eight seeds, a nine, and an eleven!

Louisville plays top-rated Rice in the first round Friday. Other favorite teams are North Carolina (4) and Arizona State (5). Those teams are the equivalent of two top and one second seed in basketball terms. If Louisville and UNC both win (or both lose), they will play each other on Sunday. Two losses and a team is eliminated.

Last weekend, Louisville managed to slam long-time power Oklahoma State 2 games out of 3 in the Super Regional games. The team lost the middle game by only one run in extra innings. Still, the big excitement of the Series involved a potential first amendment issue -- a reporter working for the local newspaper was evicted from the stadium for live blogging the game from the press box.

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