Just when you thought you could focus your sporting attention to the professional ranks of the NBA and NHL, here comes the NCAA baseball tournament to make you think otherwise. Your MAC fandom should be placed squarely behind the Central Michigan Chippewas as they take on the Miami-Florida Hurricanes at 8PM tonight in the Starkville, MS regional opener for both squads.
CMU, your MAC tourney champion, enters the tournament for the first time since 1995 fresh off a MAC regular-season and MAC tourney title. Miami, a baseball blue blood, is making their first regional appearance since 2016, after 44 consecutive tournament berths, 30 regional titles (also an NCAA record), and four national titles. The Chips stand at 46-12-0 and the Canes at 39-18-0. Miami is hitting .289 as a team and has collected 75 home runs, good for the 14th highest total in the NCAA.
For those unfamiliar with the NCAA baseball tournament, it’s different than the one-and-done single elimination basketball March Madness party. The Road to Omaha starts with campus-site regionals in a double-elimination format. From there, it’s on to Super Regionals and then the College World Series in Omaha. For CMU, that journey starts tonight. In the Chips’ regional is their opponent tonight along with fourth-seeded Southern, and the top regional seed (and 6th-ranked national seed), the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Your pertinent Need to Knows for this evening’s contest:
Game: Central Michigan vs. Miami
Location: Starkville, MS
ESPN+ Stream: Here
Winner of the Chips/Canes matchup will face the winner of the host Bulldogs and Southern game taking place as you read this. Losers of each will match up in an elimination game. The regional champion advances to the super regional where it will play the winner from the Stanford Regional. We’ll have coverage through the weekend (and longer if the Chips clear Starkville), both on the site and via the Tweet machine, @HustleBelt. Batter up, Chips!
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