Omaha is more than something Peyton Manning called out on a snap count during his NFL playing days. It’s also home to the most important stadium in college baseball, the home of the College World Series.
The field of eight for the College World Series will be finalized this weekend in Super Regional action. Eight best-of-three series will determine the teams that will open play June 17 at TD Ameritrade Park.
Six SEC teams are still in the running. A maximum of five SEC teams will reach Omaha, as LSU hosts Mississippi State in an all-SEC Super Regional.
The matchups (Game 1 time in parentheses):
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Kentucky at Louisville (Noon, Friday, ESPN2): If this was basketball, this would be a colossal matchup, as the Lexington Herald-Leader notes. Still, there should be strong interest, with Kentucky beating N.C. State twice to emerge from the Lexington Regional and Louisville scoring an average of 10 runs per game to sweep its regional.
Davidson at Texas A&M (3 p.m., Friday, ESPN2): Call this regional the upset special. Davidson, who has a pitcher who has thrived coming off Tommy John surgery as noted by the Charlotte Observer, was a No. 4 seed that opened the Chapel Hill Regional with a win over top-seeded North Carolina, then it followed up with a pair of 2-1 wins over Florida Gulf Coast and North Carolina. Texas A&M was the No. 3 seed in the Houston Regional, beating Baylor, Iowa and Houston to reach the Super Regionals.
Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State (6 p.m., Friday, ESPN2): The College World Series would be incomplete without one of these two California powerhouses. Long Beach State needed two wins over Texas to advance out of its own regional, while No. 2 seed Fullerton knocked off top-seeded Stanford to advance.
Vanderbilt at Oregon State (9 p.m., Friday, ESPN2): A trip to the Pacific Northwest is Vanderbilt’s reward for taking two-of-three from Clemson in the Clemson Regional. Oregon State breezed through its regional.
Sam Houston State at Florida State (Noon, Saturday, ESPN2): There was a chance that Florida State, the ACC Tournament champion, was going to go 0-2-and-barbecue in its own regional following an opening loss to Tennessee Tech, but the Seminoles won four straight, beating Auburn twice, to advance. Sam Houston State was the No. 3 seed in the Lubbock Regional, beating top-seeded Texas Tech twice to move on.
Wake Forest at Florida (6 p.m., Saturday, ESPN): Both teams are No. 1 seeds. Wake Forest went through its regional unbeaten, while Florida needed to go to the if-necessary game to get past Bethune-Cookman.
Missouri State at TCU (6 p.m., Saturday, ESPNU): Missouri State survived a cliffhanger of a regional at Arkansas, losing 11-10 in the first final to the top-seeded Razorbacks before claiming a 3-2 win in the if-necessary game. TCU, which has won three straight Super Regionals as noted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, sailed through a regional that included Virginia.
Mississippi State at LSU (9 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2): Mississippi State was sent to Southern Miss for the Hattiesburg Regional and had to go all the way through the elimination bracket following an opening loss to South Alabama. LSU, the SEC Tournament champion, breezed through its own regional.