As a lover of most peripheral sports you know I am geeked with the beginning of the NCAA Baseball Tournament, especially with my Beavers trying to return to Omaha for the first time since 2007 when they won the 2nd of their back to back national championships. While the NCAA Basketball tournament continues to take criticism for the watered down nature of its drama in recent years, the baseball tournament and College World Series seems to be getting more popular by the year, and thank goodness for that. There is still a sense of amatuerism and innocence with college baseball that has long sense left football and basketball, while still being a very familiar and comfortable product for the casual sports fan. We all grew up with baseball, and we will eventually see a few of these guys in the Major Leagues in a couple of years. And since they took some of the "ping" out of the aluminum bats we don't see home run derby like we did in the late 90's. How can you not love this tournament. Now that Oregon is back in the baseball playing business and comeptitive it makes it all the better for Northwest sports fans.
Now if you're new to the College World Series it has its own legends too, do yourself a favor and look up names like Darren Driefort of Wichita State, Warren Morris of LSU or even Mel Turpin and Joey Wong from Oregon State. Guys like Jack McDowell, Robin Venrura and Barry Bonds have all roamed the Omaha grass and with games played in sunlight unlike most of the MLB playoffs these days, it will take you back to your grade school days sneaking radios into class trying to listen to World Series games without being noticed by your teacher. If you really dare to dream think about the Ducks and Beavers on opposite sides of the bracket meeting in Omaha in an all Oregon CWS final in a best of three series with each team looking for revenge after each spoiled a conference title chase in the last two seasons.