I headed south to Max’s Sports Bar yesterday to watch Arkansas vs. South Carolina in Game 3 of the Fayetteville Super Regional. I put my troll on the bar for good luck, and she provided it immediately, with Arkansas scoring 5 in the first inning. The rest of the game did not get better for South Carolina, and the fifth inning was so bad they had to go through 4 pitchers. The Hogs won 14-4 to become OmaHogs, meaning they punched their ticket to the College World Series, which is held in Omaha every year.
One of college athletics’ all-time classic rivalries will be revived in the opening round of the CWS, as Arkansas plays Texas on Sunday.
I was talking to a friend last night and he said, as much college baseball as he watches, he has never understood the NCAA playoff system in baseball. I myself didn’t understand it until I did a little research. Here’s the deal:
Regionals: A field of 64 enters the regionals. It’s like the first round of March Madness minus the stupid play-in games with respect to number of teams. There are 16 brackets, with 4 teams per bracket. Each of the brackets plays double-elimination until only one team is left standing per bracket. That team advances and the others go home.
Super Regionals: The winners of the 16 regional brackets go to the Super Regionals. Here, there are 8 brackets of two teams each, and the teams play best-of-three. Winner of best-of-three advances, loser goes home. The winner of the regional that contained the overall 1 seed plays the winner of the regional that contained the 16 seed, 2-15, 3-14, 4-13 and so on.
College World Series opening round: Now there are 8 teams left, and this round is like the regionals: brackets of 4 teams playing double elimination, except this time there are only 2 such brackets. Winner of each bracket advances to the final, and the 6 teams that got eliminated go home.
College World Series championship: Like the Super Regionals all over again, except this time there is only 1 bracket of two teams rather than 8 brackets. Those two teams play best-of-three, winner is NCAA champion.
Max’s Sports Bar news: They’re trying to get rid of the Tiger Blood slushies so they can make banana ones, so they fire-saled the Tiger Blood slushies to $5 (normally $9). They did not look anywhere close to running out last night, so the deal will probably be on for another day or two. And don’t worry, they still have Purple Drank and it’s not going anywhere. I look forward to trying one of the new banana slushies on the back patio Friday night.
I have a new favorite baseball fan to follow: @Hognoxious. He was all over the camera last night and he was awesome.
WWE Smackdown Live is tonight at FedExForum. WMC Action News 5 interviewed Smackdown star Samoa Joe about Memphis wrestling history and his favorite Memphis BBQ spot. Joe has been one of my favorites for a long time. I’m not going to Smackdown tonight, but if I were I’d be chanting, “Joe’s gonna kill you.”
One more match has been added to tonight’s card: Shelton Benjamin vs. Daniel Bryan.
There will be a ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of Curry ‘N Jerk Authentic Caribbean Cuisine this Thursday at 11 AM. The new restaurant is in the old Lolo’s Table space next door to McEwen’s on Monroe.
Free Doritos Locos tacos (one per customer) 2 to 6 PM tomorrow, June 13, because the Golden State Warriors beat Cleveland on the road, triggering the restaurant chain’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion.
An old warehouse at 455 S. Front is being demolished to make way for 30 new condos.
Fun quiz on FiveThirtyEight: Who should you root for in the World Cup, since the U.S. isn’t there. I got France.
That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.