2012 College World Series Preview

The 2012 College World Series field is set and two Cinderellas are heading to the dance. The defending champions (South Carolina) also found their way back to Omaha. Two of the participants in this year’s CWS are making their first ever appearance and are from “mid-major” conferences. The top three national seeds are heading to Omaha.

The College World Series is split into two brackets (Bracket One & Bracket Two) and play will begin on Friday. Each bracket uses a double elimination format with the winners of each brackets will meet in the best of three Championship Series starting on Sunday June 24.

(1) Florida Gators (47-18)

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Kevin O’Sullivan

NCAA tournament bid: At Large

CWS appearance: 8th (Last: 2011)

How they got here: Won Gainesville Regional and Super Regional

(2) UCLA Bruins (47-14)

Conference: Pac-12

Head Coach: John Savage

NCAA tournament bid: Automatic Bid (Pac-12 conference champion)

CWS appearance: 4th (Last: 2010)

How they got here: Won Los Angeles Regional and Super Regional

(3) Florida State Seminoles (48-15)

Conference: ACC

Head Coach: Mike Martin

NCAA tournament bid: At Large

CWS appearance: 21st (Last: 2010)

How they got here: Won Tallahassee Regional and Super Regional

(8) South Carolina Gamecocks (45-17)

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Ray Tanner

NCAA tournament bid: At Large

CWS appearance:  11th (Last: 2011 – Won the National Championship)

How they got here: Won Columbia Regional and Super Regional

Arizona Wildcats (43-17)

Conference: Pac-12

Head Coach: Andy Lopez

NCAA tournament bid: At Large

CWS appearance:  16th (Last: 2004)

How they got here: Won Tucson Regional and Super Regional

Arkansas Razorbacks (44-20)

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Dave van Horn

NCAA tournament bid: At Large

CWS appearance:  7th

How they got here: Won Houston Regional and Waco Super Regional

Kent State Golden Flashes (46-18)

Conference: MAC

Head Coach: Scott Stricklin

NCAA tournament bid: Automatic Bid (MAC tournament champions)

CWS appearance: 1st

How they got here: Won Gary Regional and Eugene Super Regional


Stony Brook Seawolves (52-13)

Conference: America East

Head Coach:  Matt Senk

NCAA tournament bid: Automatic Bid (America East tournament champions)

CWS appearance: 1st

How they got here: Won Coral Gables Regional and Baton Rouge Super Regional

Opening Matchups:

BRACKET 1: Stony Brook vs #2 UCLA

Friday June 15 – 5pm EST ESPN2

Stony Brook’s improbable run to Omaha goes through the number two team in the tournament. The Seawolves’ offense has been their strength all year long and continued through the first two rounds of the tournament. UCLA’s strong pitching depth has carried them all year, but it’s the Bruins offense that has outscored their opponents in the tournament 33-9 in five postseason games. PREDICTION: UCLA

BRACKET 1: Arizona vs #3 Florida State

Friday June 15 – 9pm EST ESPN2

Both schools have been top 25 teams for a majority of the season. Florida State head coach Mike Martin is brigning the Seminoles to their 15th trip to Omaha but has yet to bring home a National Championship. Florida State has two runner-up finishes under Martin (1986 & 1999). Arizona has the second most appearances at the College World Series behind FSU but has won the championship only three times (1976, 1980 & 1986). PREDICTION: Florida State

BRACKET 2: Kent State vs Arkansas

Saturday June 16 – 5pm EST ESPN

Can Kent State handle the pressure of being on the big stage? Kent State has defeated some quality teams such as Purdue, Kentucky and Oregon on their way to Omaha. The Golden Flashes have two 11 game winners on their pitching staff. Arkansas has been through a grueling SEC schedule and have been tested. The Razorbacks had high expectations this season and have had their ups and downs (including a four game losing streak). PREDICTION: Kent State

BRACKET 2: #8 South Carolina vs #1 Florida

Saturday June 16 – 9pm EST ESPN

No easy road back to the Championship Series as defending champs, South Carolina, will meet fellow SEC foe, Florida in the opening round. The two SEC schools met three times this season (including in the SEC tournament) with Florida winning three of the four meetings. PREDICTION: Florida

2012 College World Series Facts

  • Number of Schools by conference: SEC (3), Pac-12 (2), ACC (1), America East (1), & MAC (1).
  • South Carolina becomes the first team since the ’96, ’97, ’98 LSU to return to Omaha with a chance to defend their back-to-back Championships.
  • This is the 20th consecutive year that the SEC has fielded at least one team in the College World Series.
  • First time since 2006 that one conference had three teams in one bracket (ACC – Clemson, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina)
  • Stony Brook is the second team since 1999 to be seeded fourth in a regional and advance to the College World Series (Fresno State won 2008 CWS).
  • Florida is making a third consecutive appearance in the College World Series for the first time in team history. Fellow 2012 CWS participants Florida State (’94,’95,’96 & ‘98,99,’00), Arizona (’58,’59,’60) and South Carolina (’02,’03,’04 & ’10,’11,’12) have all made three consecutive appearances.

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  • Jtblaze1994

    You forgot to have Arizona as co-PAC-12 conference champion. They tied along with UCLA.

  • Midway B-rad

    True…but UCLA got the automatic bid (tiebreaker)