Storylines to watch in the 2024 NCAA baseball super regionals (2024)

Here come the super regionals. And their variety of storylines is... well, pretty super.

Seven of the top eight national seeds will be there. But so will Evansville, only the ninth No. 4 regional seed to ever survive. Florida State is in its 18th super regional, which is pretty impressive given this format has only been around 25 tournaments. Evansville and West Virginia are in their first. It will be the second ever for Kansas State, Clemson hasn’t been for 14 years, Georgia for 16.

Ten No. 1 seeds won their own regionals, but so did five from the No. 3 spot. The home field provided safety, except when it didn’t. Arizona was quickly bounced out of its own site in two games, the final push a 7-0 blanking by Dallas Baptist. Arkansas was 34-3 at home this season until losing 7-6 to Kansas State and then Southeast Missouri State. UC Santa Barbara was 27-0 at home this season against every team in the world not named Oregon. The Ducks beat the Gauchos twice last weekend, allowing them one run in 18 innings.

Five SEC teams play on. That means six don’t. Among the more surprising demises were Arkansas at home, South Carolina losing to James Madison for the first time in 41 years and Vanderbilt’s pitchers allowing 23 runs in two defeats. LSU’s national title defense ended in Chapel Hill, but it took an epic 10-inning loss to the Tar Heels to do it. The Tigers had the lead in the ninth but couldn’t hold it.

Matter of fact, the past four national champions — LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt — are all gone. But 2018 winner Oregon State will be there this week, as will 2017 champion Florida and 2015 winner Virginia. They represent five of the past 32 Men's College World Series titles. The teams who won the other 27 are nowhere to be found.

SUPER REGIONALS:8 super regional hosts and game times announced for the 2024 NCAA Division I baseball championship

It is a baseball Sweet 16 created in various ways, often with unconventional heroes.

No. 1 national seed Tennessee slugged its way through its own regional, hitting as many homers — 12 — as total runs its pitchers allowed. The Vols now have 159 home runs for the season, 13 more than any other collection of bashers in the country. “It’s a long lineup,” Southern Mississippi coach Christian Ostrander said, having looked down the business end of the Tennessee attack, as the Vols sent out five homers in a 12-3 Sunday romp. “You can’t catch your breath.”

This is what he meant: Catcher Cal Stark homered twice and drove in four runs Sunday. He was ninth in the Tennessee batting order.

Connecticut committed one error in four games to win at Norman, shaking off a frustrating Big East tournament when the Huskies were two-and-done, both losses in extra innings. UConn was one of the No. 3 seeds to get past a regional, but it shouldn’t be that surprising. Just two years ago, the Huskies won 50 games and took Stanford the distance in the super regional.

Kentucky’s pitchers allowed one run in the last 21 innings in their regional, including shutting out Indiana State. No one had done that to the Sycamores since April of 2022, 139 games ago. “There’s a way you have to pitch in the SEC to survive,” Indiana State coach Mitch Hannahs said. “You see that in a 3-1 breaking ball. You see that in a 2-0 breaking ball.”

He was referring to Kentucky’s Mason Moore, who threw six shutout innings at the Sycamores Sunday to run his NCAA tournament scoreless streak to 20.1 innings over two years. Moore wasn’t even at the ballpark the day before, recovering from a stomach virus at home and taking IV treatments.

“At 7:36 (p.m. Saturday) my phone goes off,” Wildcats coach Nick Mingione said. “It’s a text message from Mason. This is what he said: ‘Here we go! Just to update you, I’m feeling better and back to normal. I’m ready to throw and win us a ball game tomorrow, Coach.’”

Which he did.

Kansas State swept its three games in the Fayetteville regional by a combined score of 33-12. On the other hand, Oregon won its three games in Santa Barbara by a total of five runs. That’s not much of a margin for error, but then the Ducks’ pitchers didn’t make many. Their three starters allowed only three runs in 23 innings. This is the same Oregon team that was a quick out in the Pac-12 tournament, scoring only four total runs in two losses.

Florida slid into the NCAA tournament with a 28-27 record and 13-17 SEC mark, hardly the numbers of a super-regional contender. But then who saw Ashton Wilson coming? As late as May 12, the sophom*ore reserve outfielder had only eight at-bats and two hits this season, but injuries opened a spot late in the year and he arrived at the Stillwater regional with a .231 batting average. Then he homered, drove in five runs, hit .429 and was named outstanding player of the regional. Florida rolled on, winning three elimination games and moving to the super regional at Clemson with a 32-28 record.

“Ups and downs throughout the year, but obviously none of that matters now, we’re in the postseason,” said Gators star Jac Caglianone in a TV interview.

🥇:College baseball regular season awards, picked by Michella Chester

Evansville toppled East Carolina 6-5 with a three-run homer by Mark Shallenberger, a psychology graduate student who has already done his student teaching. The 2024 Cinderella of the tournament has been crowned, and she’s headed this weekend to Knoxville. Should anyone be truly shocked by the Purple Aces? They flattened the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, going 4-0 with three of the games ending in the seventh inning with the mercy run rule. The MVC team that did stay with them was Indiana State and Hannahs wasn't surprised by what Evansville accomplished at East Carolina, fourth seed and all. “We knew Evansville was good. I think the only people who didn’t know Evansville was good were the committee. They’re as good as anybody we’ve seen,” he said.

As good as, uh, Tennessee? “Tune in,” Hannahs said, “because it’ll be a good series.”

Clemson stranded 34 runners in three games but still won its regional, and pulled off a nifty hidden ball trick to help kill a Coastal Carolina threat and guarantee lots of online clicks to see it. Georgia had to rally to edge Army 8-7 and go extra innings and more than four hours to put away Georgia Tech 8-6, with the Yellow Jackets leaving the tying runs on base. That was a lot of crisis control for one weekend. “I think it’s important that I tell the players all the time that they can’t ever hit the panic button,” coach Wes Johnson said.

Virginia turned to a former Cavaliers quarterback to clinch its regional against Mississippi State. In 2021, Jay Woolfolk started for Virginia against Notre Dame and was 18-for-33 passing for 196 yards and two interceptions. The Cavaliers lost 28-3. Now a full-time pitcher, he had control struggles this season, walking 34 batters in 44.2 innings. That’s one reason he hadn’t started a game since March 17, but coach Brian O’Connor went to Woolfolk to finish off the regional and he delivered with eight innings, allowing two runs with seven strikeouts and only one walk in a 9-2 victory. “You give young men an opportunity like Jay Woolfolk had tonight, and you see what they’re made of,” O’Connor said. “Jay Woolfolk is going to have that for the rest of his life.”

Then there’s West Virginia. File this name in the good-things-come-in-small-packages file.

Derek Clark.

The Division II transfer left-hander who was born on Christmas Day is 5-9. Maybe. But he stood tall enough to throw a four-hit complete game at Dallas Baptist to get West Virginia started in the regional, then finished off the clincher against Grand Canyon with two strikeouts. With that last K, the Mountaineers were in their first super regional.

“We represent a ton of people,” coach Randy Mazey said. “Not just our university and the community but 1.8 million people in the state of West Virginia.” One more item in this Mountaineer feel-good tale: Mazey is retiring and making history is his going-away keepsake.

North Carolina State, is back in the super regional, hoping to get to Omaha and wipe out some awful memories. Remember what happened to the Wolfpack there in 2021, when they advanced to the cusp of the finals? Sent home by COVID protocols.

Texas A&M will be there, its regional sweep including an extra-inning victory over Texas, and for an Aggie, what could be sweeter than that? Coach Jim Schlossnagle aims to build a genuine powerhouse at Texas A&M and that includes full houses. So he’s a tad sensitive about attendance figures, such as last weekend’s clincher over Louisiana. “I hope whoever’s in charge of the attendance numbers can do my taxes,” he said, “because 7,600 is a joke.”

BRACKET: See the updated tournament bracket ahead of super regionals

What they've all formed are super regional matchups of different flavors. Tennessee power vs. Evansville pluck.

Florida State, who in one year has gone from 23-31 to 46-15, eager to beat Connecticut and complete its recovery with a 24th trip to Omaha, where the Seminoles have still never won a title.

Kansas State and West Virginia — Big 12 members who have never seen a Men's College World Series — trying for breakthroughs in hostile ACC baseball strongholds, Virginia and North Carolina.

Oregon State and Oregon, as the last survivors in the last college team sport still competing this school year, charged with turning out the lights on the Pac-12 for good, trying to keep themselves and their league alive one more week at Kentucky and Texas A&M.

Georgia, seeking to win a super regional for the first time since 2008, against North Carolina State. Clemson, attempting to stop the second wind of Florida, a team that could show up in Omaha with the lowest winning percentage in the history of the Men's College World Series.

There are, then, lots of plots to sort out this weekend, with 16 teams only two good days from Omaha. Now if it only doesn’t rain.


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Storylines to watch in the 2024 NCAA baseball super regionals (2024)


How to watch NCAA Super Regionals? ›

How to watch NCAA baseball tournament super regional games. Every NCAA tournament super regional game Sunday is airing on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Streaming options for the matchups include the ESPN App and Fubo, the latter of which offers a free trial to potential subscribers.

Who will Tennessee baseball play in the Super Regional? ›

The No. 1 Vols (54-12) face Evansville (39-25) on Sunday (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in the third game of the Knoxville Super Regional. The winner will go to the College World Series, while the loser's season will concldue.

Who won the college baseball championship in 2024? ›

Tampa wins the 2024 DII baseball championship.

How many games are in Super Regional? ›

Super Regional series are a best-of-three format.

Is there a run rule in NCAA Super Regionals? ›

Each conference has its own rules, but according to Section 79 of the 2023-2024 NCAA Baseball Rules Book, there is no set NCAA run rule to end a game early.

Who is favored to win the College World Series 2024? ›

Tennessee held off a pesky Evansville squad in the Super Regionals and the Vols, the nation's top seed, enter the CWS 2024 as the favorite. They are +290 in the latest 2024 College World Series odds, followed closely by two other SEC teams, Texas A&M (+330) and Kentucky (+500).

Who is predicted to win the World Series 2024? ›

2024 World Series odds: Dodgers remain big favorites; Orioles, Reds rise. The MLB season is rolling, and the Los Angeles Dodgers remain atop the World Series betting board.

What baseball teams are going to Omaha in 2024? ›

North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, NC State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Florida State won their respective Super Regionals, advancing to the Men's College World Series. These eight teams will compete in Omaha from June 14-23/24. Tournament selections were made on Monday, May 27.

How many SEC teams are in Super Regionals? ›

Here are the 16 qualifiers and matchups for the NCAA Super Regionals. Five SEC teams and five ACC teams will play in the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend.

Who does Kentucky play in the Super Regional? ›

Oregon State and Kentucky play the second of the Super Regional Sunday night at Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is slated for 6:06 p.m. (9:06 p.m. in Kentucky).

Is Tennessee baseball going to the College World Series? ›

– For the seventh time in program history, the Tennessee Volunteers are headed to Omaha, Nebraska for the Men's College World Series. The top-ranked Vols routed Evansville, 12-1, in Sunday night's decisive game three of the Knoxville Super Regional to punch their ticket to Omaha for the third time in four years.

Who is going to the CWS in 2024? ›

The field consists of seven nationally seeded teams, with usual powerhouse Florida serving as the lone non-seeded team to make the tournament. No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 North Carolina also all clinched a spot in the final event.

What college baseball team has won the most College World Series? ›

USC has won 12 Men's College World Series championships. LSU is alone in second with seven after winning the title in 2023. Texas follows with six. Arizona State has won five.

What are the dates of the Super Regionals in baseball? ›

NCAA Tournament, College World Series dates
  • Regionals: May 31-June 3.
  • Super Regionals: June 7-10.
  • College World Series starts: June 14.
  • College World Series finals: June 22-24.
2 days ago

How can I watch the NCAA tournament games? ›

Catch NCAA® March Madness® games live on TBS, TNT and TruTV, along with CBS in most cities. To check for your local CBS affiliate, Click here to view which channels are available in your area. Programming subject to regional restrictions and blackouts.

How to watch college baseball playoffs? ›

How to watch NCAA baseball tournament super regional games. College baseball's super regionals games will air live on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, with streaming options available on the ESPN app or Fubo, which offers a free trial to potential subscribers.

How to watch NCAA track and field championships 2024? ›

You can watch the main men's broadcast (featuring most of the track events) beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ESPN2. Click or tap here to watch that broadcast. 4 p.m. 5 p.m.


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