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Previewing the COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINAL with Virginia Blog Streaking the Lawn and Will Campbell

Vanderbilt and Viriginia kick off the 2014 College World Series final at 7pm CST tonight. What should the Commodores be worried about? We went to an expert - Streaking the Lawn's Will Campbell - for some insight about the Cavaliers.

Weakness 1: Hugs.
Weakness 1: Hugs.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

At 7PM central time, Vanderbilt and Virginia will kick off the biggest game in either baseball team's history. The squads will meet in a College World Series final that pits two programs that have never been so close to a national championship. Two wins will deliver an NCAA title and unprecedented success to one of two schools that have been better known for their academics and sartorial choices than athletics over their distinguished tenures. The series is set to be so epic, they even moved today's World Cup games up to accommodate this Commodore/Cavalier showdown (citation needed).

To get you ready, we enlisted the help of SBNation's Virginia blog Streaking the Lawn and their resident baseball expert Will Campbell. Will was kind enough to break down his Cavaliers and let us know what we can expect from Vandy's ACC foe in the finals. His answers to all my tough questions are below. My response for UVA's preview can be found here.

1. Virginia has only allowed four runs in 33 innings in Omaha. Who has been the catalyst behind that, and who should Vanderbilt be the most worried about facing in the finals?

Will Campbell, StL: The starting pitching has been phenomenal in the three games thus far allowing only 4 runs combined (only 2 earned), so I would say that if the starters can continue on that trajectory, I would try to limit their innings and get to the bullpen as quickly as you can. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, waiting in the bullpen are Artie Lewicki and Nick Howard who have been just as nasty in Omaha. Lewicki and Howard have a combined 0.00 ERA and have given up just 3 hits in 12 innings. Unfortunately for UVa fans, only Whit Mayberry has any other innings. During the season, the bullpen depth was a strength, but Coach O'Connor has been pretty dependent on Lewicki and Howard in Nebraska.

From a pure game standpoint, I would say Vandy fans should worry most about seeing 1st round pick, Howard. If he is in the game, it likely means the two teams are tied late or UVa is ahead and UVa fans are counting down the outs to another W. He'll feature a +fastball and a very hard biting curve. He's got a 1.77 ERA and 20 saves in 30 appearances this season. He's been lights out, and UVa fans everywhere hope he has two more saves in him.

2. Let's set the over/under for CWS finals home runs at 0.5. Do you take the over, or under?

I'll go over, but if you had put it at 1.5, I'm counting my money taking the under. Someone has to run into a poorly located fastball at some point, right? The wind can't ALWAYS blow in, right? Someone can let the ball bounce off their head and over the wall, RIGHT?

3. Most of Virginia's losses this season have come when their opponent scores 5 runs or more. Are the Cavaliers equipped to win a shootout? Will it matter in the dead-ball time machine known as TD Ameritrade Park?

Coming into this season, most expected UVa to have one of, if not the best offenses in the country given the amount of depth they returned from a team last year that was great at the plate. That hasn't happened this year, but I think they have the capability to do it. Admittedly, and don't hold this against me, I haven't paid close attention to Vandy all season, but like UVa, I bet they have found ways to win. If the pitching isn't there in one of the upcoming games, and the offense needs to step up, I think they can.

This is really cliche, but this team figures out how to win anyway they need to. They've won 15 1 run games (if my adding is correct) thus far this season. Most will point to that and say that most of the wins came in low scoring affairs and they can't win a shootout, but I point to it and say that they know how to score what they need to to win.

4. Mike Papi (11 HR, 56 RBI) is the truth at the plate. Who else should Vandy's pitchers be worried about this week?

TCU or Ole Miss (I can't remember at this point) asked me a similar question and I pointed them to leadoff-man, Brandon Cogswell. He's set the plate well thus far at Omaha (.400 with 4 walks out there), that if he can continue to get on base and force the Vanderbilt pitchers to throw more pitches to the middle part of the UVa lineup, the Hoos are gonna have a good time.

Another guy UVa has been dependent on in the NCAA tournament has been Kenny Towns. He was actually benched for being so cold earlier in the season, but he has come through when it mattered most. He's only batting .307 in Omaha after being moved up in the lineup, but like he did against Maryland in the Super Regional, I expect him to come through with a big hit or two when UVa needs it most.

5. Let's set the over/under on combined bunts for the CWS finals at 125. Do you take the over, or do you take the over?

Gladly take the over. I am not a hater of bunts like most; especially when you play in a stadium that is 400 down the lines and 486 to center. When you are confident that your team only needs three or four runs to win, bunting a runner from 2nd over to 3rd with 0 outs is a beautiful thing.

6. Finally, who wins the national championship - and how?

UVa in 2, but both are 1 to 2 run games. I expect fans of both teams think their team is going to win this week, as they should. There is a reason both of these teams are here and either could come out on top. For UVa to win, they're going to get 6-7 innings from their starters who will only allow 2-3 runs a piece. The offense has a leadoff double or two, they bunt him over, sac fly is a run. After the 7th, Artie Lewicki and Nick Howard come in to do what they have done all tournament long. If the games look something like that, UVa could be celebrating soon.