How the Men's College World Series works (2024)

Every year, the best teams in college baseball compete in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament, vying for the chance to play in Omaha at the Men's College World Series.

Here is how the NCAA Division I baseball tournament works, including the history and format.

What is the difference between the Division I baseball tournament and the Men's College World Series?

The NCAA Division I baseball tournament is a 64-team tournament in the spring. After two rounds of play (which each consist of multiple games), there are just eight teams left. These eight teams then head to Omaha, Nebraska, for the Men's College World Series. The MCWS is the culmination of the DI tournament, where the teams compete in two brackets, with the winners of each meeting in the MCWS finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

When did the Men's College World Series start?

The first-ever NCAA Division I baseball tournament was in 1947, and would barely be recognized as the same tournament nowadays. The 1947 tournament featured just eight teams, which were divided into two four-team, single-elimination brackets. The two winners — California and Yale — then met in a best-of-three final in Kalamazoo, Michigan. California went undefeated through the inaugural CWS and beat Yale to capture the first title.

MCWS HISTORY: Coaches with most wins | Most titles | Most appearances| Conferences most represented

How has the NCAA Division I baseball tournament changed since its inception?

The tournament has grown a lot since 1947. There are currently 64 teams that compete in fourrounds (two double-elimination brackets, two best-of-three series) for the title.

Here are the major changes to the tournament, as they happened:

  • 1948: First-round playoffs were changed to double-elimination.
  • 1949: The final was expanded to a four-team, double-elimination format, and the site changed to Wichita, Kansas.
  • 1950: Site moves to Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 1954: Field expands to 23 teams. The field size bounces around between 21 and 32 for the next two decades. In the 22 years between 1954 and 1975, the field is never the same size two years in a row.
  • 1976: Field expands to 34 teams, where it will stay until 1982.
  • 1982: Field expands to 36 teams. Will expand multiple times in the next few years, before settling at 48 teams in 1987, where it will stay until 1999.
  • 1988-1998: The eight regional champions are seeded into two four-team brackets. Those two brackets play double-elimination with the bracket winners then meeting in a one-game championship.
  • 1999: Field expands to current size of 64 teams, super regionals are added.
  • 2003: CWS finals become a best-of-three series.

How are teams selected for the NCAA Division I baseball tournament?

Since 1954, the NCAA Division I baseball tournament field has been split into two qualifying groups: The automatic berths, and the at-large selections. Since 2014, that split sees 30 conference champions receive automatic berths, and 34 teams receive at-large bids, decided by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.

As part of that selection process, 16 teams receive national seeds, and are offered the option of hosting a super regional if they advance to the second round.

What is the format for the NCAA Division I baseball tournament?

There are four stages of competition for the tournament:

Regionals

The first round sees the 64 teams split into 16 brackets. Each is a double-elimination bracket with four teams, seeded 1-4. Double-elimination means that a team isn’t eliminated from the bracket until they lose two games.

Super Regionals

The 16 winners of the regionals move on to the super regionals, where they are split into eight pairings. These pairings play in a best-of-three series.

Men's College World Series

The eight winners of the super regionals head to the MCWS in Omaha. They are split into two double-elimination brackets, consisting of four teams each.

Men's College World Series Finals

The winners of the two MCWS brackets meet in the MCWS Finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

When is the Men's College World Series?

The NCAA Division I baseball tournament starts after the culmination of the regular season, in late May or earlyJune every year. The Men's College World Series, the final stage of the tournament, caps off the season in June.

You can see the bracket and schedule here.

How to get tickets for the Men's College World Series

Visit the tickets section on NCAA.com here for tickets.

Who has won the most Men's College World Series?

No team has won it more often than Southern California. The Trojans have 12 titles to their name, with the first coming in 1948, and the most recent in 1998. That also includes a stretch from 1968 to 1974, when USC won six of seven titles.

You can see the winners of every tournament here.

How the Men's College World Series works (2024)

FAQs

How the Men's College World Series works? ›

The eight winners of the super regionals head to the MCWS in Omaha. They are split into two double-elimination brackets, consisting of four teams each. The winners of the two MCWS brackets meet in the MCWS Finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

Is mens College World Series best of 3? ›

Since the Men's College World Series moved to a best-of-three format to decide the national championship in 2003, the title's come down to a decisive third game 12 times. That includes in 2024, when Tennessee won the last two games of the season to beat Texas A&M.

What is the run rule in the men's College World Series? ›

Despite the SEC adding a 10-run rule ahead of the 2023 college baseball season and other conferences, including the ACC, following the lead during the 2024 season, there will be no run rule in place for the 2024 NCAA Baseball Tournament and the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

How many teams play in the men's College World Series? ›

The eight winners of the super regionals are headed to the Men's College World Series (MCWS), which this year will be held in Omaha. The eight teams were divided into two double-elimination brackets, consisting of four teams each.

How does the world series work? ›

In order to determine the champion of Major League Baseball in the U.S. and Canada, the winners from the National League and the American League play the "World Series." The Series consists of seven games. If a team wins four out of the seven games, they are the champions.

Is mens College World Series single elimination? ›

The eight winners of the super regionals head to the MCWS in Omaha. They are split into two double-elimination brackets, consisting of four teams each. The winners of the two MCWS brackets meet in the MCWS Finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

Who wins Game 3 of the World Series? ›

NCAA.com Video

Tennessee held off Texas A&M baseball, 6-5, to win its first Men's College World Series championship in program history, highlighted by Zander Sechrist's seven strikeouts and Dylan Dreiling's third home run of the finals.

Is there a mercy rule in College World Series? ›

But the College World Series follows the format of professional baseball, where there is no mercy rule in either the minors or the majors. Instead, it just becomes a chance to get a position player some time out on the mound.

What is the mercy rule in baseball? ›

Baseball Reference defines a mercy rule as, “(a rule) that terminates a game early if one of the two teams has taken a substantial lead, considered to be insurmountable, after a minimum number of innings have been played.” MLB has already designated the ghost runner during extra innings and, starting this season, ...

What is the 10 rule in baseball? ›

NOTE: (1) If the visiting team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the home team must bat in its half of the inning. While you're watching games, keep in mind that there are several situations where the 10-run rule may come into play.

Who has won the most men's College World Series? ›

USC has won 12 Men's College World Series championships. LSU is alone in second with seven after winning the title in 2023. Texas follows with six. Arizona State has won five.

Is mens College World Series always in Omaha? ›

Since 1950, the College World Series (CWS) has been held in Omaha, Nebraska. It was held at Rosenblatt Stadium from 1950 through 2010; starting in 2011, it has been held at Charles Schwab Field Omaha (formerly TD Ameritrade Park Omaha).

Has TN ever won a world series? ›

The Tennessee Volunteers beat Texas A&M in Game 3 of the 2024 Men's College World Series finals, 6-5. With their 60th win of the season, the Vols won the first national title in program history.

How many games are in the College World Series final? ›

These eight teams then head to Omaha, Neb. for the College World Series. The CWS is the culmination of the DI tournament, where the teams compete in two brackets, with the winners of each meeting in the CWS finals, a best-of-three series to decide the NCAA champion.

What is the format for the World Series? ›

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) and American League Championship Series (ALCS), since the expansion to best-of-seven, are always played in a 2–3–2 format: Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 are played in the stadium of the team that has home-field advantage, and Games 3, 4, and 5 are played in the stadium of the team ...

How many wins do you need to make it to the World Series? ›

If the series needs a Game 6 or 7, the teams would return to the higher seed's ballpark. The first team to win four games advances, and the loser is eliminated. The League Championship Series winners make it to the final round — the World Series.

Is there a World Series for Triple A? ›

Ultimately, the Triple-A World Series was discontinued, and the International League and the Pacific Coast League returned to ending their seasons after the crowning of their own champions.

What is the score of the College World Series game 3? ›

Texas A&M baseball scored too little, too late on Monday night. The No. 3 Aggies fell to No. 1 Tennessee 6-5 on Monday night in Game 3 of the College World Series final, falling just short of their first-ever national championship in baseball.

What time is game 3 of the College World Series? ›

Game 3 of the Tennessee vs. Texas A&M College World Series Finals was played on Monday, June 24, 2024 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). The game aired on ESPN.

Who has the 3 most World Series? ›

Who has won the most World Series titles in MLB history?
  • NEW YORK YANKEES, 27 TITLES.
  • ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 11 TITLES.
  • OAKLAND ATHLETICS, 9 TITLES.
  • BOSTON RED SOX, 9 TITLES.
  • SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, 8 TITLES.
Mar 25, 2024

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