The final National Championship of the 2018-19 NCAA athletic year will be handed out this week, as the final two baseball teams left square off in the College World Series Championship Series. After each team went a perfect 3-0 on their respective sides of the bracket, the Michigan Wolverines and Vanderbilt Commodores now find themselves just two wins away from a title (or two losses away from disappointment).
Vanderbilt may have had the most challenging road to the CWS Finals this year, at least when it came to the games played in Omaha. The Commodores were tasked with outlasting Louisville, Mississippi State and Auburn, two of whom were considered serious contenders to win the National Championship. Instead, it was smooth sailing for the ‘Dores, with multi-run wins over Louisville and Mississippi State to open play, and a 3-2 win in the semifinals to earn their spot in the finals.
Michigan’s run may have been the most impressive. Following up on a major upset against UCLA in the NCAA Super Regionals, the Wolverines have continued their strong play since arriving in Omaha. The Wolverines beat Texas Tech to open the College World Series and have since beaten Florida State and the Red Raiders yet again (the second time in a 15-3 rout) to get to the finals. If they can continue their magical run this week, they’ll earn the program’s third National Championship and the first since 1962.
The Commodores, meanwhile, are in the College World Series Championship Series for the third time in program history, winning it all in 2014 and falling short in 2015. Vandy has strong depth in their pitching rotation, which could come into play in this best-of-three series. Their opponents, meanwhile, needed just three pitchers to get through their first three games, and they’re well-rested thanks to a combination of weather and their on-field performance.
To get our pick, check out the video at the top of this page, as Taylor Smith and I break down the matchup and give you our thoughts on which team will come away with the series victory.