The battle for the College World Series begins in earnest this week as the NCAA announces the 64-team field and home teams for the first round of the Division I baseball tournament.The field of 64 teams competing for the 2009 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.
The national top eight seeds are Texas (41-13-1), Cal State Fullerton (42-14), LSU (46-16), North Carolina (42-16), Arizona St. (44-12), UC Irvine (43-13), Oklahoma (41-18) and Florida (39-20).
The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference lead all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with eight, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with seven. The Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA and Pacific-10 each have three teams each. Twenty-nine of the 64 teams were not in the field last year. Binghamton (AQ), Cal Poly (at-large), Georgia St. (AQ), Kansas State (at-large) and Xavier (AQ), all are making the championship for the first time. Utah last was in the field in 1960, Boston College last made it in 1967.
Miami (FL) is in the field for the 37th consecutive year, extending its own record. Florida State is making its 32nd straight appearance, second all-time. Other long consecutive streaks: Cal State Fullerton (18), Rice (15) and Oral Roberts (12). Of the 288 championship eligible Division I institutions that sponsor baseball, Coastal Carolina and LSU have the most Division I wins with 46. Twenty-five other teams won at least 40 Division I contests, and all of which but New Mexico St. and San Jose St., are in the field.
Each of the 16 regionals feature four teams, playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 29, to Monday, June 1 (if necessary). Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on NCAA.com, Monday, June 1 at approximately 11 p.m. (ET).
The 63rd Men's College World Series begins play Saturday, June 13, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. You can view the complete brackets and locations here.
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see articles, such as this one, before they're posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.