On Friday, the NCAA baseball postseason and the road to the College World Series begins with the Regional Tournaments. Among the 64 teams still remaining, Columbia University and LIU will be among five schools representing New York at separate regionals around the country.
This past weekend, NCAA division one conferences completed their conference tournament playoffs. The 31 conference champions then received automatic berths into the NCAA Regional bracket, along with 33 at-large teams that were selected based on their performance and strength of schedule during the regular season. The 64 teams are then split into 16 different regional tournaments.
Among those conference tournament winners were a handful of New York colleges.
LIU (Long Island University) defeated Bryant 7-0 to win the NEC Championship, while Columbia University defeated the University of Pennsylvania in a best-of-three series to capture the Ivy League crown.
They will be joined as New York representatives by Hofstra University, which won the CAA Conference, Canisius College, which won the MAAC Conference, and SUNY Binghampton, which won the America East Conference.
CAA Championship Most Outstanding Player Brad Camarda
Now, all five schools will head to the NCAA Regionals, which is the first of four stages of the national playoffs. In the Regionals, the 16 top-seeded teams in the nation each host three other teams in separate double-elimination tournaments. The survivor of each Regional moves onto the Super Regional stage.
Columbia University earned the highest seed of the five New York schools and is seeded third (of four teams) in the Blacksburg Regional, which is led by Virginia Tech, the 4th-ranked team in the nation. However, Columbia has had a strong season, entering the tournament at 30-16. They also had, at one point in the season, the longest winning streak in the nation, winning a program-record 19 straight games.
They won’t need that many in a row to advance to the next stage, but they will need to start with a win over 14th-ranked Gonzaga on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
Of the other New York teams, LIU had the next best record in the regular season, finishing 37-19, which was a program record for most wins in a season. They’ll be making their second regional appearance in the last six years and third in program history. However, their path forward will be tough as their first game is a matchup against 12th-ranked Maryland on tap for Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.
LIU Sharks celebrating their conference championship
The road is no easier for the other three schools, as Binghampton faces 2nd-ranked Stanford, Hofstra plays 11th-ranked North Carolina, and Canisius takes on 7th-ranked Miami.
With the Regionals operating as a double-elimination tournament, teams have a few chances to show that they have what it takes to move on to the next round. As a result, the most talented teams can sometimes fall against less-heralded groups that have more depth or more fight.
Perhaps one of our New York schools can string together a Cinderella run in this year’s postseason.
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Schedule of play for New York schools
Friday, June 3rd
10:00 a.m. ET – Canisius vs #7 Miami (ESPN+)
1:00 p.m. ET – Columbia vs #14 Gonzaga (ESPN+)
2:00 p.m. ET – Hofstra vs #11 North Carolina (ESPN+)
4:00 p.m. ET – Binghampton vs #2 Stanford (ESPN+)
7:00 p.m. ET – Long Island vs #12 Maryland (ESPN+)