Sports 2022

Ole Miss vs Oklahoma Men's Final Live Full Match

Oklahoma vs Ole Miss: The 2022 Men's College World Series final matchup that no one expected

OMAHA, Neb. -- Two teams, very much alike in purpose.

🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴► Men's College World Series Final 🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴►

🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴► Men's College World Series Final 🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴►

🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴► Men's College World Series Final 🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴►

🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴► Men's College World Series Final 🔴🅻🅸🆅🅴►

Two coaches, both who have given their lives to college baseball, but never before having this chance.

Two fan bases, each with unusual motivations to see a happy ending.

We have come to the end at the Men's College World Series, to find the last teams standings with much in common. Neither Oklahoma nor Ole Miss was one of the 16 top seeds for the NCAA Tournament. Neither was awarded the chance to play at home all month. Neither was mentioned prominently on the list of championship candidates.

Then June came, and they started playing the games.

SCHEDULE: Click here for 2022 Men's College World Series finals schedule

Was Ole Miss even supposed to be here? The Rebels were seeded ninth in the SEC tournament. They were once 7-14 in the league and on NCAA Tournament selection day, had to nervously wait for their name to be called. They were the last at-large team invited.

And now here they are, with a chance to win the program's first baseball national championship. Since that tense Memorial Day, they have lost once.

"I think it's about belief," third baseman Justin Bench said. "We were playing for our lives every game."

Was Oklahoma even supposed to be here? The Sooners had their scuffles, too - the series loss to New Orleans, the 18-0 shellacking at Wichita State, the 28-7 regular tournament sweep at the hands of Tennessee, LSU and UCLA. And it had been a long time - 12 years - since they were last seen in Omaha. Coach Skip Johnson anointed them as "a team of Davids," slaying one giant and misconception after another.

And now here they are, the only team without a CWS defeat so far, and the chance to give the school its first title in more than a generation - 28 years - against an opponent they sense as a kindred spirit.

"They have a chip on their shoulder, and so do we," Oklahoma catcher Jimmy Crooks said.

His outfield teammate concurred. "They're here to make a statement," Tanner Tredaway said. "Just like we are."

Both teams are here under the guidance of baseball lifers living a dream.

Johnson's career has taken him from junior college to a renowned career as a pitching mentor, and then to his big chance as head coach at Oklahoma five years ago. He has tried to create a Sooner team with a simple intent.

"Just trying to win pitches, that's the biggest thing," he said of his team. "They're going to play the game one pitch at a time and try to play against the baseball. That's what we talk about, that's what we do."

DEALIN' DYLAN: Ole Miss' Dylan DeLucia threw a gem to send his team to the finals

The opportunity to do that one day for a championship in Omaha has never been far from his mind. "It'll raise the hair on your neck," he Friday said of the atmosphere in the world of college baseball.

The same for Mike Bianco of Ole Miss. He has been the Rebels' coach since for 22 seasons, surviving on the harsh and frenzied landscape of SEC baseball. Five different league programs have won during his tenure. When would it be his turn? Maybe now, with a team that has completely transformed its own narrative in one month.

"You know our story," he said to the media Friday. "We haven't had the easiest road to get here. I think it teaches us all, even as a coach that's been in it 30-plus years. It teaches you these lessons that I'm sure we'll use down the road when you hit some adversity. You think you have it tough now, but this team did this. This is where they were and this is where they ended up."

over 1 year ago

Jobayer Hossen