EDITORIAL: UNC, NCSU matchup has makings of great game

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Imagine superpower college basketball programs Duke and North Carolina facing each other late in the NCAA Tournament. It's excitement enough when those two teams clash during the regular season, but it would be something else to see them play in the big tournament with the chance to go to the Final Four.

That would be something to behold.

Well, perhaps the most important collegiate baseball game in North Carolina history is set for this Sunday as rivals North Carolina and N.C. State will face off in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Those two teams are among the eighth finalists in the CWS, the others being Indiana, LSU, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oregon State and UCLA.

Just the thought of the Tar Heels versus the Wolfpack in any sport is enough to build great excitement. But to see these two teams battling in the CWS will be breathtaking.

The two teams already have had three exciting games this season. North Carolina has won two of the three games, 7-1 in a regular season contest and 2-1 in an 18-inning game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals. N.C. State recorded a 7-3 victory in the other matchup.

Both teams have had outstanding seasons — North Carolina with a 57-10 record, having beaten South Carolina in the Chapel Hill Super Regional, and N.C. State with a 49-14 record, having beaten Rice in the Raleigh Super Regional.

These two schools will each be seeking their first baseball national championship, North Carolina having finished second in 2006 and 2007, and N.C. State tying for third in 1968.

As exciting as Sunday's game will be for fans of the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack, and for all collegiate baseball fans, it is just one game in the CWS. There will be a double-elimination round for the eight teams, with the two teams surviving the double-elimination playing for the national championship.

Yes, Sunday's game is important — and the winner will put itself in a nice position in the tournament. But, it is just one game. The CWS challenge to the championship will be difficult.

We're glad that both schools have advanced to the CWS national stage and eagerly await their Sunday showdown.