NCAABBL: MCWS Finals: Tennessee favored to snap No. 1 drought vs. Texas A&M


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OMAHA, Neb. — The Tennessee Volunteers will continue their quest to become the first No. 1 seed to win the Men’s College World Series in a quarter century when they open the best-of-three finals against No. 3 Texas A&M on Saturday.

Both teams went undefeated through bracket play, which left downtown Omaha relatively quiet with no games on Thursday or Friday as several merchants began shipping out their merchandise early. But the intensity will ratchet back up ahead of Game 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Charles Schwab Stadium on Saturday night.

The Volunteers are a -155 favorite in Game 1 at BetMGM, where they have been backed by 74 percent of the bets and 92 percent of the money wagered on the game. Tennessee is also the -200 favorite to win the series, although Texas A&M has drawn 57 and 69 percent of the action, respectively, at +160.

The last No. 1 overall national seed to win the title was Miami back in 1999. Tennessee has already become the first No. 1 national seed in 15 years to reach the CWS finals.

The Volunteers (58-12) rallied late to avoid an upset to No. 8 Florida State in their opening game in Omaha. They then took care of North Carolina fairly easily before eliminating the Seminoles in a rematch on Wednesday night.

“This group — we’ve spent a lot of time together, Tennessee left-hander Kirby Connell said. “We talk about that’s our main goal is to try to win a national championship. We get to have a three-round fight this weekend. And try to be the first team to win two games.”

Tennessee will be well rested, but so will Texas A&M. The Aggies (52-13) similarly avoided an upset bid in their opening game against Florida, surviving the Gators 3-2. They then beat Kentucky before eliminating Florida with a 6-0 shutout on Wednesday night.

Texas A&M, playing in its eighth MCWS, is shooting for its first national title. The Aggies have yet to trail through their first three games in Omaha and are now 8-0 in the NCAA Tournament.

Their last loss? It came against Tennessee, 7-4, in the SEC Tournament back on May 23.

“Most teams don’t know when their season is going to end. We’re pretty sure when ours is going to end, one way or the other,” Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “That’s a gift. That’s a blessing we should be thankful for.”

–Field Level Media


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