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June 26, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
Fresno State > George Mason > Villanova > Cinderella.
Full disclosure: Before this site, I spent the past two years working in college baseball (and did so for a semester in school, too). So maybe I place some importance on NCAA baseball that others would not. Maybe. But still, this is a Cinderella story that would make Carl Spackler jealous.
Last night, the Fresno State Bulldogs defeated Georgia in a best-of-three series to win the 2008 College World Series. That is amazingly unbelievable. Some are already saying it is the greatest upset in the history of sports. Ever. While that might be a stretch, it's not far off.
Consider this: Fresno State became the lowest seeded team to win a collegiate national championship. In any sport. Ever.
The Bulldogs had the most losses (31) for a team that won the CWS, and in the past four days, had to win three elimination games. If Fresno State didn't win their conference tournament, they wouldn't have even been one of the 64 teams that made the NCAA Tournament.
To try and put it into perspective: When George Mason made their miracle run in 2006, the Patriots made it all the way to the Final Four, as an 11-seed, and the country basically lost their minds for a couple of weeks following that run. Fresno St. was the equivalent of 13 or 14-seed, and they won the whole damn thing. I mean, in the latest RPI rankings, Fresno St. was No. 89. 89! Again, to compare: Nevada was ranked 89th in the final men's basketball RPI. The Wolfpack lost in the first round of the tournament - no, not that tournament, but the College Basketball Invitational, something that was just created this past season for the schools that weren't good enough to make it to the NIT.
For my money, USA hockey winning gold at the 1980 Olympics is still the biggest upset ever, but this Fresno State win really was something special.
Cinderella story. Outta nowhere...