The road to Omaha is set for the 64 teams in the 2018 Division I baseball championship as regional action is slated to begin Friday, June 1.
As fans and experts alike begin to analyze the bracket, envision dream matchups and predict who will be playing in the College World Series, here are nine storylines to follow as the tournament gets underway:
What is the deepest region top to bottom?
There are plenty of top-heavy regions with little separation between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds (more on that later). But in terms of the best group of four teams, the Oxford, Mississippi region instantly jumps out. The combined record of Mississippi, Tennessee Tech, Missouri State and Saint Louis is 171-57 — a winning percentage of .750.
Despite getting the No. 4 overall seed in the tournament, the SEC champion Rebels will certainly have their work cut out for them.
The Golden Eagles earned an at-large bid after falling in the Ohio Valley conference title game, boasting a 48-9 record, including a 28-game winning streak at one point in the season. Tennessee Tech also finished as the nation’s best hitting team with a team batting average of .342.
The Bears, who won the Missouri Valley tournament, present three big power hitters in their lineup with Drew Millas, Jeremey Eierman and Matt Brown. The Billikens, winners of the A-10 tournament, have four hitters in their lineup with at least 40 RBIs. The combined record in their weekend rotation is 29-7 with Drew Reveno, Miller Hogan and Jackson Wark, all of whom have an ERA under 3.40.