The defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks (45-14) welcome the Stetson Hatters (41-18 ... Hatters!), N.C. State Wolfpack (34-25) and Georgia Southern Eagles (36-24) in what could be among the trickiest of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament's regionals.
Watch out for Stetson. The Atlantic Sun terrors clawed their way to appearances in multiple national polls at various points throughout the season. They've fared very well against eventual tourney teams this season, sweeping the Georgia Bulldogs and splitting with the Florida St. Seminoles.
The Eagles earned the regional's fourth seed by winning the SoCon Tournament -- with their No. 77 RPI ranking, they weren't making it in otherwise, friends. N.C. State is the weakest of the ACC's seven entrants, reaching only .500 in conference play.
Columbia's champion will take on the survivor of the state's other regional, where the Clemson Tigers are said to have the toughest opening round of any host. One would prefer to see the nation's bloodiest rivalry resumed once more on the diamond season, but if it's to be missed, it likely won't be Carolina's fault.
The complete Columbia region bracket and schedule:
Game 1: N.C. State vs. Stetson, June 3 at 1 pm ET
Game 2. South Carolina vs. Georgia Southern, June 3 at 7 pm ET
Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, June 4 at 1 pm ET
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, June 4 at 7 pm ET
Game 5: Game 4 loser vs. Game 3 winner, June 5 at 1 pm ET
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, June 5 at 7 pm ET
Game 7, if necessary: Whoever remains standing, June 6 at 7 pm ET
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