June 18, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Ray Tanner (12) talks with Tyler Webb (38) during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the seventh inning of game eight of the 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Arkansas won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
After eliminating Arkansas last night to earn a third-straight trip to the Championship Series, the South Carolina Gamecocks are now getting ready to face the Arizona Wildcats. In this post, we'll break down a few key points about this opponent.
--Historically, this is one of the nation's most successful college baseball programs. Overall, it ranks seventh in total CWS wins with 36, fourth in finals appearances with seven, and it has won three titles.
--However, things haven't been as rosy lately, and only a year ago, there were rumors (perhaps unfounded) that this program was being considered for elimination due to budgetary concerns regarding the program's solvency. This year's performance has allayed those concerns, though:
Lopez and athletic director Greg Byrne combined forces to create the perfect June storm -- an exciting move off campus to Hi Corbett Field; a talented, veteran team; a 138 percent increase in attendance; a chance to host postseason play for the first time in 20 years; a group of guys oozing with chemistry and getting hot at the right time.