Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 College World Series Predictions

Happy Memorial Day everybody! Today, the 64-team field was released for the 2015 Men's College World Series. The eight national seeds for the tournament are: #1 UCLA, #2 LSU, #3 Louisville, #4 Florida, #5 Miami, #6 Illinois, #7 TCU, and #8 Missouri State.

As I did last week with softball, I am going to again predict which teams I believe will advance out of each region and in the process I hope to correctly pick the National Champion for the 2015 baseball season! Without further adieu, let us begin!


Los Angeles Regional
#1 UCLA (42-14)
Bakersfield (36-22-1)
Maryland (39-21)
Mississippi (30-26)

Winner: #1 UCLA over Mississippi in regional final

Why: UCLA won the PAC-12 this year and is the #1 overall seed in the tournament. With a team that I have heard is better than the one that won it all in 2013, they should steamroll into Super Regionals.

Lake Elsinore Regional
UC Santa Barbara (40-15-1)
San Diego State (40-21)
Virginia (34-22)
USC (37-19)

Winner: Virginia over UC Santa Barbara in regional final

Why: The Virginia Cavaliers finished second in the ACC Coastal division and went 1-3 in the ACC Tournament. Despite their record and lackluster postseason performance, the Cavs still have a majority of the players who helped them make it to the College World Series Finals. If Virginia has the "unfinished business" mentality, then they will punch a ticket to Super Regionals to get one step closer to a return trip to Omaha.

Stillwater Regional
Oklahoma State (37-18)
St. John's (39-14)
Oral Roberts (41-14)
Arkansas (35-22)

Winner: Oklahoma State over Oral Roberts in regional final

Why: Oklahoma State finished second in both the Big 12 regular season standings as well as the conference tournament. The support of the home crowd should help the Cowboys advance to Super Regionals.

Springfield Regional
#8 Missouri State (45-10)
Canisius (34-28)
Oregon (37-23)
Iowa (39-16)

Winner: #8 Missouri State over Iowa in regional final

Why: Currently on a 16-game win streak and Mountain Valley Conference Champions, Missouri State has been a powerhouse this year. This would not be the first time that MSU faced Iowa as the Bears and Hawkeyes hooked up earlier in Springfield this year on February 21st with Iowa winning 6-5. MSU will get revenge this time around on route to Super Regionals.

Coral Gables Regional
#5 Miami (44-14)
FIU (29-29)
Columbia (31-15)
East Carolina (40-20)

Winner: #5 Miami over Eastern Carolina in regional final

Why: The Miami Hurricanes won the ACC Coastal division and went 2-1 in the ACC Tournament. After watching the Hurricanes in person when they came up to play the Gators, I can confidently say that this is a good team right here. They should easily beat these teams in their home regional.

Dallas Regional
Dallas Baptist (43-13)
VCU (37-22)
Texas (30-25)
Oregon State (38-16-1)

Winner: Dallas Baptist over Oregon State in regional final

Why: Dallas Baptist has been an upstart sensation this year as they finished the regular season #12 in the Top 25 polls. In a tight battle with a solid Oregon State team, the Patriots will prevail to second ever Super Regional in school history.

Tallahassee Regional
Florida State (41-19)
Mercer (35-21)
Auburn (35-24)
Charleston (43-13)

Winner: Florida State over Charleston in regional final

Why: Florida State just barely missed out on earning a national seed. They will carry this motivation into regional play as they down a Charleston team that reached Super Regionals last year.

Gainesville Regional
#4 Florida (44-16)
Florida A&M (23-23)
South Florida (33-24-1)
Florida Atlantic (40-17)

Winner: #4 Florida over Florida Atlantic in regional final

Why: It has been a joy watching the Florida Gators over the course of the 2015 season. They should have no problem with any of the teams in their home region as they have beaten them all at one point this year.

Baton Rouge Regional
#2 LSU (48-10)
Lehigh (25-29)
Tulane (34-23)
UNCW (39-16)

Winner: #2 LSU over UNCW in regional final

Why: The LSU Tigers lost a heartbreaker to the Florida Gators in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and every team in their region will feel the Tigers' wrath.

Houston Regional
Houston (42-18)
Houston Baptist (28-25)
UL-Lafayette (39-21)
Rice (35-20)

Winner: Houston over UL-Lafayette in regional final

Why: Houston won the American Athletic Conference regular season title and will utilize their home field advantage to defeat a feisty Ragin' Cajun team.

College Station Regional
Texas A&M (45-12)
Texas Southern (31-17)
California (34-19)
Coastal Carolina (38-19)

Winner: Texas A&M over Coastal Carolina in regional final

Why: I have been a low-key TAMU bandwagoner all season after what has been a tremendous turnaround. They won 24 straight games to open the season and will continue their miraculous run with a solid win over Coastal Carolina to advance to Super Regionals.

Fort Worth Regional
#7 TCU (43-11)
Sacred Heart (23-30-1)
Stony Brook (34-14-1)
NC State (34-21)

Winner: #7 TCU over NC State in regional final

Why: The Big 12 regular season champions, TCU has been a great team all year and will defeat a talented NC State on route to another Super Regional.

Champaign Regional
#6 Illinois (47-8-1)
Ohio (36-19)
Wright State (41-15)
Notre Dame (36-21)

Winner: #6 Illinois over Notre Dame in regional final

Why: Illinois has been a splendid surprise this year as they won the Big 10 regular season title and posted a 25-game winning streak that ended in the Big 10 Tournament. Their matchup with Notre Dame in the regional final will be an epic one that ends with the Fighting Illini advancing to Super Regionals.

Nashville Regional
Vanderbilt (42-19)
Lipscomb (39-18)
Indiana (34-22)
Radford (43-14)

Winner: Vanderbilt over Radford in regional final

Why: I have much respect for the fact that Vanderbilt is the defending National Champion. Despite falling in the SEC Championship to the Florida Gators, Vandy has a solid team that will bulldoze through this region.

Fullerton Regional
Cal State Fullerton (34-22)
Pepperdine (30-27)
Clemson (32-27)
Arizona State (34-21)

Winner: Cal State Fullerton over Arizona State in regional final

Why: Cal State Fullerton won the Big West conference and has always been a name stake in college baseball. They will defeat a decent Arizona State team to advance to Super Regionals.  

Louisville Regional
#3 Louisville (43-16)
Morehead State (38-20)
Michigan (37-23)
Bradley (35-19)

Winner: #3 Louisville over Michigan in regional final

Why: Louisville showed what they were made of in their first year in the ACC as they went 25-5 in conference play and finished first in the ACC Atlantic standings. The Cardinals will live up to the high expectations placed on them as they will take care of business as both a national seed and regional host to advance to Super Regionals.

Super Regionals
Now that I have predicted the regional winners, it is now on to the Super Regionals! Keep in mind that a team just needs to win two out of three games to advance to the College World Series!

Los Angeles Super Regional
#1 UCLA vs Virginia

Winner: #1 UCLA

Why: In a matchup between the 2013 winner and the 2014 runner-up, the UCLA Bruins will emerge victorious due to their superior lineup and pitching.

Springfield Super Regional
#8 Missouri State vs Oklahoma State

Winner: #8 Missouri State

Why: Missouri State will show the country why they deserved their national seed when they defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys to reach the second College World Series in school history

Miami Super Regional
#5 Miami vs Dallas Baptist

Winner: #5 Miami

Why: Miami will return to the College World Series for the first time since 2008 as they put an end to Dallas Baptist's extraordinary season.

Gainesville Super Regional
#4 Florida vs Florida State

Winner: #4 Florida

Why: Florida may have lost the regular series to Florida State this season, but the home field advantage will prove vital as the Gators pull out the win in three games. It is also worth noting that Florida's only win against FSU this year came in Gainesville (a 14-8 slugfest).

Baton Rouge Super Regional
#2 LSU vs Houston

Winner: #2 LSU

Why: LSU will rip through Houston at home to advance to yet another College World Series in the Tigers' storied baseball history.

Fort Worth Super Regional
#7 TCU vs Texas A&M

Winner: Texas A&M

Why: This is a tough one for me to pick, but my heart has been with Texas A&M all year. TCU is GOOD, but I believe playing and succeeding in the SEC gives the Aggies a good chance to beat the Horned Frogs and advance to Omaha for the first time since 2011.

Champaign Super Regional
#6 Illinois vs Vanderbilt

Winner: #6 Illinois

Why: Illinois will continue their incredible season as they defeat the defending National Champions to advance to the first ever College World Series in school history.

Louisville Super Regional
#3 Louisville vs Cal State Fullerton

Winner: #3 Louisville

Why: Louisville is a great team and will handle Cal State Fullerton easily as the Cardinals return to Omaha.

If my picks stay true like they did for softball, let's see how the College World Series would turn out!

College World Series First Round
#1 UCLA vs #8 Missouri State

Winner: #1 UCLA

Why: The butterflies and excitement of playing in their first College World Series game in 12 years will get to the Missouri State Bears as UCLA beats them in the first game of the opening round.

#4 Florida vs #5 Miami

Winner: #4 Florida

Why: Florida was able to take two of three from the Hurricanes in Gainesville, and they will continue this trend as ace Logan Shore throws a gem behind solid run support from the Gator offense.

#2 LSU vs Texas A&M

Winner: Texas A&M

Why: Texas A&M won just one of three games against LSU in Baton Rouge. In Omaha, however, things will shape up differently as the Aggies upset another national seed to keep their dream season going.

#3 Louisville vs #6 Illinois

Winner: #3 Louisville

Why: In what will be a classic game, Louisville will outlast Illinois to propel themselves into the winner's bracket.

Elimination Games
#8 Missouri State vs #5 Miami

Winner: #8 Missouri State

Why: With both teams' backs against the wall, Missouri State will compose themselves the second time around and eliminate Miami to stay alive.

#2 LSU vs #6 Illinois

Winner: #2 LSU

Why: LSU will come out of the gate determined after dropping their first game to Texas A&M. Illinois will battle them to the very end, but the Tigers will ultimately prevail and end Illinois's season.

End Result: #5 Miami & #6 Illinois ELIMINATED

Second Round
#1 UCLA vs #4 Florida

Winner: #1 UCLA

Why: Florida's pitching will run into some problems against an explosive UCLA lineup while the Gator offense will also struggle trying to figure out the Bruins' pitching.

#3 Louisville vs Texas A&M

Winner: #3 Louisville

Why: The Aggies' upsets will stop here as Louisville sends them to the loser's bracket after a hard-fought game by both sides.

Second Round Elimination Games
Texas A&M vs #8 Missouri State

Winner: Texas A&M 

Why: The Aggies will keep their upset mojo alive as they knock off another national seed and send Missouri State packing.

#4 Florida vs #2 LSU

Winner: #2 LSU

Why: Running into LSU once again, Florida will not have any late-game heroics in them this time around as the Tigers will get the last laugh and knock the Gators out of the College World Series.

End Result: #4 Florida & #8 Missouri State ELIMINATED

CWS Semifinals
#1 UCLA vs Texas A&M

Winner: #1 UCLA

Why: Texas A&M's luck finally runs out as the Bruins continue their dominant College World Series run with another victory that sends them to the Finals!

#2 LSU vs #3 Louisville

Winner: #3 Louisville

Why: Beating Louisville twice is a tough task, and I do not think LSU has it in them to defeat the Cardinals in a doubleheader. Louisville advance to its first ever College World Series Finals!

CWS Finals
#1 UCLA vs #3 Louisville

Winner: #1 UCLA

Why: UCLA will solidify their postseason run with a two-game sweep over the Louisville Cardinals to win their second National Championship in school history.

National Champion:

UCLA Bruins!

So there it is, the UCLA Bruins will win it all according to my predictions. Now anything can happen in the game of baseball, so it will be interesting to see just how accurate my predictions are.

Hopefully, I can keep my hot streak going as I correctly predicted all eight teams who made it to the Women's College World Series! Anyways, there is going to be some great baseball being played in the upcoming week, and I cannot wait to watch it! Good luck to everybody!

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