by Mark Mayer | The road to the College World Series begins Friday at 16 regional sites with North Carolina and Miami, FL each rated a 7-1 favorite at the Las Vegas Hilton. The CWS runs June 14-25 at famed Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. The Tar Heels are the top seed in the four-team Cary Regional, which also includes UNC-Wilmington, Elon and Mount St. Mary’s. The Hurricanes are the host team in the Coral Gables Regional, which also includes Missouri, Ole Miss and Bethune Cookman.
Arizona State, the top seed in the Tempe Regional, is second favorite at 8-1. Other top contenders include Florida State (12-1), Rice (15-1), Cal State-Fullerton (16-1) and Arizona (18-1). Texas, LSU, Oklahoma State, Georgia and Cal-Irvine are all 20-1.
One thing is certain – there will be a new national champion. Oregon State, trying for its third straight CWS title was denied a postseason bid due to a mediocre 28-24 regular season campaign. Also Stanford, the top seed and host school in the Stanford Regional, was not among the Hilton odds list for individual teams. Instead, the Cardinal fall into the 25-1 field category. Of the 64 teams in the CWS elimination rounds, 19 have the field designation.
Here are the odds for the teams in the 16 regionals trying to become the last one standing in Omaha:
Ann Arbor, MI: Arizona (18-1), Michigan (40-1), Kentucky (60-1), E. Michigan (25-1 field).
Athens, GA: Georgia (20-1), Georgia Tech (60-1), Louisville (60-1), Lipscomb (25-1 field)
Baton Rouge, LA: LSU (20-1), Southern Miss (100-1), New Orleans (25-1 field), Texas Southern (25-1 field)
Cary, NC: N.Carolina (7-1), UNC-Wilmington (25-1 field), Elon (25-1 field), Mt. Saint Mary’s (25-1 field)
College Station, TX: Texas A&M (25-1), Dallas Baptist (25-1 field), Houston (25-1 field), Illinois-Chicago (25-1 field)
Conway, SC: Coastal Carolina (35-1), East Carolina (100-1), Alabama (25-1), Columbia (25-1)
Coral Gables, FL: Miami (7-1), Missouri (30-1), Ole Miss (50-1), Bethune Cookman (25-1 field)
Fullerton, CA: Cal State-Fullerton (16-1), UCLA (40-1), Virginia (40-1), Rider (25-1 field)
Houston, TX: Rice (15-1), Texas (20-1), St. John’s (75-1), Sam Houston St (25-1 field)
Lincoln, NEB: Nebraska (25-1), Cal-Irvine (20-1), Oral Roberts (75-1), E. Illinois (25-1 field)
Long Beach, CA: Long Beach St (30-1), San Diego (25-1), California (30-1), Fresno St (150-1)
Raleigh, NC: N.Carolina St (40-1), S.Carolina (35-1), NC Charlotte (25-1 field), James Madison (25-1 field)
Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma St (20-1), Wichita St (40-1), TCU (125-1), W.Kentucky (25-1 field)
Stanford, CA: Stanford (25-1 field), Pepperdine (100-1), Arkansas (125-1), Cal-Davis (25-1 field)
Tallahassee, FL: Florida St (12-1), Florida (25-1 field), Tulane (75-1), Bucknell (25-1)
Tempe, AZ: Arizona St (8-1), Vanderbilt (30-1), Oklahoma (125-1), Stony Brook (25-1 field)