Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 6/18/13
Since the format was changed to a Regional and Super Regional round in 1999, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament has won the College World Series just once. And this year's No. 1 overall seed, North Carolina (57-11), is already on the brink of elimination after its 8-1 loss to rival North Carolina State on Sunday. Now, the Tar Heels will have to advance past the No. 1 team in most polls, LSU (57-10). Its a situation neither team thought it would be in entering the CWS, but here they both are. While North Carolina had suffered two postseason losses already, LSU came into the College World Series on an eight-game winning streak. But the Tigers lost 2-1 in the CWS opener to UCLA after a few late errors proved costly. Both North Carolina and LSU have relied on their pitching staffs this season, and while the Tar Heels' staff has struggled in the postseason, the Tigers' has been fine. Both runs UCLA scored on Sunday night were unearned. Against North Carolina, LSU will start sophomore lefty Cody Glenn (7-2, 2.41 ERA). Glenn is more of a pitch-to-contact type, as he has just 37 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched. Its worked for him -- in his last start in the SEC tournament opener against Alabama, he struck out just two but allowed just five hits and pitched seven scoreless innings. The notion seems to be that the way to beat North Carolina is to start a left-handed pitcher. In fact, the Tar Heels have faced off against a lefty starter in nine of its last 12 games (five in a row). N.C. States lefty Carlos Rodon pitched two of those games, and hes a strikeout artist. The Tar Heel lefty-heavy lineup seems to have more success against the pitch-to-contact types, so that could bode well for UNC. North Carolinas starting pitchers havent had their best stuff in this postseason, though and rather than use the normal Day 2 starter Hobbs Johnson, UNC head coach Mike Fox has decided to go with freshman Trent Thornton (11-1, 1.28 ERA). The last time UNC started a freshman in an elimination game, it was Kent Emanuel. The now-junior started in 2011 against Texas and pitched a complete game shutout, so that could be a good omen for UNC. The fact remains, though, that Thornton is the best available arm for the Tar Heels right now. Johnson had been good leading up to the tournament, but he is 0-1 in the NCAA tournament with a 7.04 ERA. Thornton is 2-0 in the NCAAs and has a 1.20 ERA in his five appearances, allowing just two earned runs in 15.0 innings. In the other 59 NCAA tournament innings that a different Tar Heel pitcher has been on the mound, UNC has allowed 42 earned runs. Thornton has started before this year, but not since March. The freshman will likely be a starter for the Tar Heels next year, but hes been in more of a closer role this year. Still, Fox is not going to mess around in an elimination game and is going to go with the guy who has been on a roll. He likely wont be scared of the moment, and Fox actually made a point once the game with N.C. State was out of hand to get some of his younger players into the game and get them some experience. He tied a College World Series record on Sunday with eight pitchers used. That was all by design, to try to get some guys in the game, get their feet wet, get them on the mound in the World Series and just try to manage the game from the third or fourth inning on, Fox said. So that was actually good we were able to do that, I think. The Tar Heels have been in this situation in previous trips to the College World Series and are 3-3 overall after dropping their first game (3-7 in elimination games). And theyve been here twice already this postseason. They still havent lost back-to-back games this year, as they are a win away from setting a new single-season school record for wins in a season. They instill that (confidence) in themselves. Theres a trust factor. Thats where youve got to rely on your leaders, on your team. To rally, theyve been able to do that all year long, Fox said. Well have to obviously play a lot better, but I have confidence in my guys. ... I have no doubt well be ready Tuesday."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

TCU extends Gary Patterson through 2024 season

Shohei Ohtani studies Bryce Harper to improve hitting

Chris Harris: Broncos need to get 'mind-control' over AFC West back

WATCH: Pat Narduzzi predicts Pitt upset win over Miami in halftime interview

Report: Florida moving on from Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Derrick Rose away from team, considering NBA future

Report: Mississippi St. set to go ‘all in’ to keep Dan Mullen

Eli Manning: Losing so much 'can wear you out'

Chargers have 'real concerns' about Mike Williams's knee?

Jerry Jones reiterates support for Jason Garrett

Jay Bilas: NCAA offered committee spot to silence me

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

15 key questions for NFL Week 12

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

Biggest sports turkeys of 2017

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker