The College World Series kicks off on Saturday, and Vanderbilt has wound up in a bracket that includes one perennial rival, one old-school powerhouse, and a team the Commodores have never faced before. Today, we'll kick off our CWS preview with the final member of that group. The University of California-Irvine is the lowest remaining seed in the NCAA Tournament, but if the Anteaters and the 'Dores both win on Saturday they'd set up a first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Irvine limped into the NCAA Tournament in the worst possible way, losing their final six regular season games before finding their "on" switch. The Anteaters revved up to defeat two top-seeded opponents, including the #1 national seed, on their way to Omaha. No team in the country has defeated tougher competition over the last two weeks, and UCI will be aiming to repeat that performance on college baseball's biggest stage. Here's what the Commodores will need to look out for.