Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In winning its second straight NCAA College World Series baseball championship Tuesday night, the University of South Carolina established a number of streak-related records.

Since a 1999 expansion of the tournament to 64 teams, the format has consisted of four phases, each double-elimination. First, the 64 teams are divided into 16 regional sites of four teams each. The winning team in a regional will either have a 3-0, 3-1, or 4-1 record. The 16 regional winners are then paired off into eight super-regionals, each a 2-out-of-3 series. The eight super-regional winners then go to the College World Series, with preliminary rounds (again double-elimination) producing two finalists. The final championship series is again 2-out-of-3.

According to this article on the Gamecocks' 2011 title, South Carolina "became the first team to ever go 10-0 in an NCAA [baseball] tournament." The team went 3-0 in the regionals (beating Georgia Southern once and Stetson twice), then swept two from Connecticut in the super-regional. A 3-0 run through the World Series early rounds (beating Texas A&M once and Virginia twice) landed South Carolina in the final round, where it swept Florida, 2-0 (2011 game-by-game log).  

Last year, South Carolina dropped its World Series opener, before rebounding for four straight wins to make the championship finals. The Gamecocks then swept UCLA, 2-0, to capture the title. Adding South Carolina's closing six victories in last year's World Series to this year's 10 straight wins in the overall postseason and five straight in the World Series yields some monster streaks.

As above-linked the article on South Carolina's 2011 championship notes, "The Gamecocks' streaks of 16 NCAA tournament wins and 11 straight in the CWS are both the longest all-time."

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