How Does The Men’s College World Series Format Work?

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
College World Series

The Men’s College World Series is a unique and exciting event that caps off a three weeks-long NCAA Baseball postseason. While an enthralling watch in its own right, keeping track of the structure and who plays whom can be a daunting task. For new faces betting College World Series odds, consider this a road map to help you track where and when you’ll bet.

The 2023 CWS begins Friday, June 16, from Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. Eight teams compete for a spot in the finals, with Wake Forest (+300) and LSU (+340) leading odds tables. Keep up to date with TheLines for complete coverage.

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How Does The College World Series Work?

Among the 64 teams to make the NCAA Division-I Baseball Championship, just eight clinch a spot in Omaha. Those eight teams are broken up into two 4-team brackets according to their seeding in the original tournament field. This year, those brackets look like:

Bracket 1

  • Wake Forest
  • LSU
  • Stanford
  • Tennessee

Bracket 2

  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • TCU
  • Oral Roberts

Those two pods play a double elimination-style tournament. The two teams to emerge from that round square off in a best-of-three series for the National Championship.

CWS Opening Rounds Game Structure

Game 1: Team 1 vs. Team 4
Game 2: Team 2 vs. Team 3

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Game 7 (if necessary): If Game 5 winner also wins Game 6

Bracket 1 begins their play Friday, June 16 with Games 1 and 2 and bracket 2 begins their play Saturday, June 17. Generally, the two groupings trade off days of play, with some exceptions.

College World Series Full Schedule

All times below are listed in ET.

Friday, June 16

Bracket 1, Game 1: Oral Roberts vs. TCU – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 1, Game 2: Florida vs. Virginia – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, June 17

Bracket 2, Game 3: Stanford vs. Wake Forest – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 2, Game 4: Tennessee vs. LSU – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, June 18

Bracket 1, Game 5 (elimination game): Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 1, Game 6: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Monday, June 19

Bracket 2, Game 7 (elimination game): Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 2, Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Tuesday, June 20

Bracket 1, Game 9 (elimination game): Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 2, Game 10 (elimination game): Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, June 21

Bracket 1, Game 11: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 9 – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Bracket 2, Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10 – 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Thursday, June 22

Following games are if necessary (i.e. if Game 9 or Game 10 winner wins Game 11 or Game 12, respectively).

Bracket 1 (elimination game) – TBA
Bracket 2 (elimination game) – TBA

Friday, June 25

College World Series final begins

College World Series Odds

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Florida
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LSU
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