Monday, June 8, 2009

UVA, UNC HEADED TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

While North Carolina is bound for an ACC-record fourth straight College World Series, the real story is about those mighty Virginia Cavaliers who are making their first trip following Sunday's Super Regional-clinching victories.

The nationally fourth-seeded Tar Heels (47-16) nailed down their eighth overall CWS berth with a 9-3 win over East Carolina that clinched the best-of-three Chapel Hill Super Regional after two games. Virginia (48-13-1) took the Oxford Regional over host Mississippi in three games, clinching with a 5-1 win on Sunday.

North Carolina becomes the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to reach the College World Series four straight years and the 10th different program overall to make four consecutive trips to Omaha. Miami made five straight trips (1978-82) and six straight (1994-99) before joining the ACC. The Tar Heels' four straight appearances is the longest active streak in the nation.

But all of that pales in comparison to Virginia's 48 wins - a school record, breaking the mark of 47 set by the 2006 team. The Cavaliers opened the season with 19 consecutive wins and captured their third ACC Championship, defeating Florida State in the 6-3 title game on May 24.

The Cavaliers reached Omaha despite playing on the road against tough opposition throughout the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers defeated top-ranked and nationally sixth-seeded California-Irvine twice in the Irvine Regional before winning the Super Regional at Mississippi.

North Carolina will face nationally fifth-seeded Arizona State (49-12) in the opening round of the College World Series, while Virginia will face third-seeded LSU (50-16) on Saturday or Sunday. Complete brackets for the CWS, which will be played at Omaha, Neb., June 13-24, will be announced by the NCAA tonight (Monday, June 8) at approximately 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

This marks the fourth straight season and the ninth year overall that the ACC has sent multiple teams to the College World Series. A league-record four teams made the field in 2006, and three made the trip to Omaha last season.

But, as we mentioned earlier, this is the first time the University of Virginia has played in the College World Series.

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