North Carolina will open the College World Series against Arizona State on Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT in Omaha, Neb.
The College World Series begins Saturday. Games will be played at 2 and 7 p.m. (Eastern) each day in Rosenblatt Stadium, which seats 23,170. The double-elimination tournament will run through June 23 or 24 depending upon results in the best-of-3 championship finals.
The Tar Heels (47-16) advanced to the championship tournament for the fourth straight season with 9-3 and 10-1 wins in the super regional over East Carolina.
Arizona State (49-12) earned its berth with back-to-back wins over Clemson — 8-2 Sunday and 7-4 Saturday — in its super regional.
Like the Heels, Arizona also won three straight regional games — 17-6 over Kent State and 4-1 and 8-3 over Oral Roberts. Carolina put away Dartmouth, Coastal Carolina and Kansas in its regional.
The first-round game times will be announced late tonight or early Tuesday by the NCAA.
Long-time Pacific-10 Conference power Arizona State has won five national championships — 1981, '77, '69, '67 and '65 — and finished second in five more CWS, the latest a runner-up to Pac-10 rival Southern California in 1998.
The Sun Devils, coached by Pat Murphy, probably will be the hottest team among the eight survivors. They've won 16 or their past 17 games dating back to May 3.
With a .305 seasonal batting average and a team earned-run average of 2.78, Murphy's club has as much balance as the Heels. Only two of the Sun Devils _ junior outfielder Jason Kipnis and junior catcher Carlos Ramirez _ are consistent power hitters but six regulars and two reserves are batting .300 or higher. Kipnis is hitting .385 with 16 homers, 20 doubles and 71 runs driven in. Ramirez is hitting .349 with 18 homers and 72 RBI.
The team's top pitcher has been Mike Leake, a junior right-hander with a 16-1 record, 1.36 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 132 innings.