So you saw on Twitter or heard from your friends that Ole Miss will be hosting a regional in Oxford this weekend. Great, right? Well, some of you may be wondering how the hell one of these things actually works. Considering it's been five years since we last hosted one, we'll let it slide and offer up a refresher course on the regional format.
(If you're not a newbie and don't need no explanation, dammit, skip to the schedule below.)
A regional, of course, is the first round of college baseball's version of March Madness. In each regional you have four teams -- seeded one through four -- playing a double elimination tournament, beginning with No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3. The last team standing advances to the super regional round (you can win a regional in as few as three games and as many as five).
Because you could be forced to play up to five games in four days, pitching depth is critical in the regional format. After spending the entire season needing just a three-man rotation for weekend series, teams are suddenly forced to rely on the fourth or fifth options, guys that have been throwing midweek against lesser competition.
Winning the first two games creates a massive advantage. If you lose one of those, you have to play an extra game before you come back up to face the undefeated team. That means you're pitching your No. 4 guy against their No. 3. It also means you have to reel off two consecutive wins to advance.
How to watch
You'll be able to catch every game of the tournament on WatchESPN. No, you can't watch on Rebelvision (though you'll be able to listen to David Kellum there!). If you don't have access to WatchESPN, go to a bar. Go to a buddy's house. Hell, how 'bout you just go to Swayze?
Below is the complete schedule for the week.
All times Central
Friday, May 30
Game 1: No. 3 Georgia Tech vs. No. 2 Washington - 3 p.m.
Game 2: No. 4 Jacksonville State vs. No. 1 Ole Miss - 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 31
Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser - 1 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner - 5 p.m.
Sunday, June 1
Game 5: Game 4 loser vs. Game 3 winner - 1 p.m.
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner - 5 p.m.
Monday, June 2
Game 7: Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser (if necessary) - 7 p.m.