South Carolina heads into its winner-take-all Game 3 of a super regional at North Carolina knowing exactly where it would begin the College World Series.
The winner of Tuesday’s noon game between USC and North Carolina will play North Carolina State at 3 p.m. Sunday in Omaha. (All times listed here are Eastern.)
USC’s part of the bracket also includes UCLA and LSU, the No. 4 national seed. Those two teams will play at 8 p.m. Sunday.
The winners of UCLA-LSU and N.C. State-North Carolina/USC will play at 8 p.m. Tuesday, while the losers will play at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Should USC start 2-0 in Omaha, it wouldn’t play again until Friday (June 21) at 8 p.m., following those first two games on June 16 and June 18 (Sunday and Tuesday).
Win again on June 21 to start 3-0, and the Gamecocks would be in the best-of-three finals series, which runs from June 24-26, after the College World Series takes a break on June 23.
If USC starts 1-1, its third game would be Thursday (June 20) at 8 p.m. against one of the other three teams in its half of the bracket (N.C. State, LSU and UCLA).
If USC starts 1-1 and stays alive in the June 20 game, it would advance to the aforementioned June 21 evening game, needing to win that day and again on June 22 in order to make the finals.
Last year, USC won three elimination games in two days to make the finals, because of weather delays. In 2010, USC won four elimination games in five days to make the finals, en route to its first of two consecutive national titles. USC was the runner-up to Arizona last season.
So mark your calendars accordingly, should USC get past North Carolina on Tuesday.
The entire College World Series bracket is set, with the exception of the USC/North Carolina spot. In the other half of the bracket, Mississippi State and Oregon State (No. 3 national seed) will play Saturday’s afternoon game, while Indiana and Louisville will play Saturday evening.
So far, LSU and Oregon State are the only two national seeds in the College World Series. The fewest national seeds to make Omaha: three, in 2007 and 2010.
If USC beats North Carolina, the No. 1 seed, it would mark the fewest national seeds to ever advance to Omaha under the super regional format, which began in 1999.