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All roads lead to Omaha.

The NCAA baseball tournament is, sneakily, one of the best sporting events of the calendar year in and year out. The amount of chaos that’s baked into the weeks-long tournament is heaven for baseball fans looking for a little anarchy.

That said, the tournament format is a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. The “College World Series” part doesn’t start until mid-June, though the tournament does get underway in May. In all, there are four stages of the NCAA Division I baseball tournament and dozens of games, but it all boils down to one team getting to dogpile in Omaha.

MORE: NCAA super regionals scores and schedule

Fans looking to tune in, don’t be scared — it’s just May Madness. Here’s how the NCAA baseball tournament and the College World Series work:

College World Series format

The “College World Series” part is a bit confusing — that part comes later in the process. In fact, the NCAA baseball tournament should be called something like May Madness.

Beginning in May, those 64 teams enter the tournament, with the final eight punching their tickets to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series in June.

The College World Series is then contested in a double-elimination tournament, with the winners heading to the College World Series finals. 

The entire tournament breaks down in four, easy (read as: confusing) parts:

Regionals

The first part of the NCAA men’s baseball tournament is the regional round. All 64 teams are divided into 16 brackets (four teams per bracket), and the teams meet in a double-elimination tournament, meaning a school is out when it loses twice. Teams are seeded No. 1 through No. 4 in each region. 

After that, the 16 victorious teams move on to the…

Super regionals

All 16 of the regional bracket-winning teams advance to the super regional stage. Teams are paired and face off in a best-of-three series. Once that’s completed, the eight winning teams advance to the…

College World Series

This is when you reach the actual “College World Series” part of the NCAA baseball tournament. The College World Series is split into two, four-team brackets. This part of the tournament is also double elimination.

The top teams in each bracket move on to the…

College World Series final

The top teams from the penultimate stage face off in a best-of-three series to determine the best college baseball team in the nation. 

How many teams are in the College World Series?

  • NCAA baseball tournament field: 64
  • College World Series: Eight

Through the entirety of the NCAA baseball tournament which kicks off in May, there are 64 teams. The 16 teams which emerge from the first (regional) round move on to the super regionals. After the super regionals, the eight teams head to the College World Series. 

How do teams qualify for the College World Series?

Teams earn automatic bids by winning their conference, while the remainder of the field is selected by committee. Of the field, 31 teams earn bids by winning their conference, and the remaining 33 are selected as at-large bids by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.

As part of the selection process, 16 teams are given national seedings, and earn the opportunity to host the super regional matchup should they advance past the regional round.

Who has won the most College World Series?

Fight On: The USC Trojans are the kings of the college baseball scene, pacing the nation with 12 College World Series victories. No one else has double-digit wins.

Here’s the complete list of teams who have won the CWS:

School CWS wins
USC 12
LSU 6
Texas 6
Arizona State 5
Arizona 4
Cal State Fullerton 4
Miami (Fla.) 4
Minnesota 3
Oregon State 3
California 2
Michigan 2
Oklahoma 2
South Carolina 2
Stanford 2
Vanderbilt 2
Coastal Carolina 1
Florida 1
Fresno State 1
Georgia 1
Holy Cross 1
Mississippi State 1
Missouri 1
Ohio State 1
Oklahoma State 1
Ole Miss 1
Pepperdine 1
Rice 1
UCLA 1
Virginia 1
Wake Forest 1
Wichita State 1

When is the College World Series in 2023?

  • Dates: Thursday, June 15 through Monday, June 26
  • College World Series finals: Saturday, June 24 (Game 1)

The 2023 College World Series gets underway on Thursday, June 15. Super regionals get underway on Friday, June 9.

The College World Series finals starts on Saturday, June 24 in a best-of-three series, and concluding on Monday, June 25 (if necessary).

College World Series 2023 bracket

The full bracket for the 2022 College World Series will be revealed on Tuesday, June 14.

This section will be updated. 



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