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NCAA Baseball Tournament: South Bend Regional is set; Notre Dame takes on Central Michigan

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Cool, cool... how does this all work?

On Monday, we finally found out which teams are going to be a part of the South Bend Regional of the 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hold the top seed and will face the Central Michigan Chippewas, while in the other bracket the Michigan Wolverines are slated to play the UConn Huskies.

The action for Notre Dame starts on Friday at 1 PM inside Frank Eck Stadium.

PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW THIS ALL WORKS

For those of you that aren’t entirely familiar with how the NCAA Baseball Tournament works, here’s a brief explainer so you know what you’re looking at and talking about over the next few weeks.

NCAA Tournament VS College World Series

There is a difference.

The NCAA Division I baseball tournament is a 64-team tournament. After two rounds of play (which each consist of multiple games), there are just eight teams left. These eight teams then head to Omaha, Nebraska for the College World Series. The CWS is the culmination of the DI tournament, where the teams compete in two brackets, with the winners of each meeting in the CWS finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

What is the format for the NCAA Division I baseball tournament?

There are four stages of competition for the tournament:

Regionals

The first round sees the 64 teams split into 16 brackets. Each is a double-elimination bracket with four teams, seeded 1-4. Double-elimination means that a team isn’t eliminated from the bracket until they lose two games.

Super Regionals

The 16 winners of the regionals move on to the super regionals, where they are split into eight pairings. These pairings play in a best-of-three series.

College World Series

The eight winners of the super regionals head to the CWS in Omaha. They are split into two double-elimination brackets, consisting of four teams each.

College World Series Finals

The winners of the two CWS brackets meet in the CWS Finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.