College baseball's yearly showcase begins today. Every game for the next week will be on ESPN or ESPN2, and hopefully Nomar Garciaparra will be calling every Texas game--he seems to be good luck. The festivities begin with the first pitch between UNC and Vanderbilt at 1:00 PM CDT. The entire tenor of the event will be different than ever before for attendees; Rosenblatt Stadium was right next to the Omaha Zoo, several miles away from the revitalized downtown area. The entire event was, according to those who were lucky enough to go, somewhat quaint and homey. That changes this year, with the ballgames being played just steps from Omaha's main nightlife district. The whole feel of the event will be different; at worst, it may seem more corporate and over-produced. At best, it'll just be different but still amazing. In the end, Omaha residents (Omahans? Omahaites? Omahanians?) know that it's all about the baseball, and we trust them to keep the feel of the CWS perfect.
This is your open thread for Carolina-Vandy. We think Vanderbilt is the better team, but UNC has been here before. We're not much on intangibles, so we'll take the 'Dores.
We'll have a fresh thread for Texas tonight.