Men's College World Series: 5 bold predictions that could shake up the college baseball race 

Joe Cox
A Finals duo of Texas A&M and UNC could be a big CWS surprise.
A Finals duo of Texas A&M and UNC could be a big CWS surprise.

Ahead of the College World Series, college baseball has largely gone according to form. The top teams have advanced and most of the would-be Cinderellas have gone home. But the College World Series, will it be different? The guess here is that it certainly will be.

Here are five bold predictions (and we're going out on a limb) that could shock college baseball for the CWS.

5 bold predictions that could shake up the college baseball race

Tennessee punched its ticket to Omaha on Sunday, but the Vols have to counter the No. 1 jinx and seek to be the first UT team to win a College World Series title.
Tennessee punched its ticket to Omaha on Sunday, but the Vols have to counter the No. 1 jinx and seek to be the first UT team to win a College World Series title.

#1. Tennessee won't win

Credit it to the curse of No. 1. college baseball's top overall seed has not won the College World Series since 1999. Funny enough, that was the year that the NCAA adopted the current seeding system. So Miami, the first No. 1 overall seed in a 64-team seeded field with overall seeds, won out... and nobody has since.

Tennessee has seemed like a team to break the streak. The Vols have been a potent No. 1. But Evansville showed some cracks in this Tennessee team. And the pressure of beating both the No. 1 jinx and winning the team's first-ever title will be too much. The Vols will come up short.

#2. Florida will outlast the Vols

What about Florida, one of the final teams in the field, now headed to Omaha? Well, if you didn't see this coming, you weren't paying attention. In 2022, Ole Miss was the final team in the field with a fairly underwhelming SEC resume. The Rebels then went on to win it all.

That level of success isn't there for UF. The lack of pitching depth will eventually catch up with the Gators. But Florida has played like a team of destiny and Jac Caglianone has some magic left. Florida won't go all the way, but they will impress.

#3. Texas A&M is one finalist

This might not qualify as an upset. The Aggies are playing tremendous baseball. Meanwhile, Tennessee is weighed down by the No. 1 jinx and Kentucky is hoping for its first-ever berth in Omaha.

A&M is the team that has everything, from pitching depth to an ace in Ryan Prager and a pair of superhuman outfield sluggers in Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery. Put the Aggies in the Final.

#4. The champion comes from the ACC

The SEC has been the dominant league in college baseball and it hasn't been close. But the ACC is now quietly making noise itself. With three teams in and NC State likely to pull the upset over Georgia on Monday, the ACC is staking its claim to college baseball supremacy. The league's talent and balance have been on display throughout the NCAA Tournament.

#5. Tar Heels pull it off

So who would be the surprise team? Florida State has impressive momentum, but seems likely to fizzle in the spotlight. Virginia is a bit underwhelming so far and NC State will have made its statement in getting past Georgia (potentially). That leaves North Carolina. Vance Honeycutt and some outstanding pitching can't be wrong. The Tar Heels have never won a title, but this feels like their year.

What College World Series surprises do you foresee? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

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