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2021 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament

The 2021 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament was the 74th edition of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The 64-team tournament began on Friday, June 4, 2021, as part of the 2021 NCAA Division I baseball season and concluded with the 2021 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, which started on June 19 and ended on June 30. Mississippi State defeated Vanderbilt in the best-of-three final series to win their first national championship in program history. The 64 participating NCAA Division I college baseball teams were selected out of an eligible 299 teams. There were 30 teams awarded an automatic bid as champions of their conferences, and 34 teams were selected at-large by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. Teams were divided into sixteen regionals of four teams, each of which conducted a double-elimination tournament. Regional champions then faced each other in Super Regionals, a best-of-three game series, to determine the eight participants in the College World Series.Grand Canyon, NJIT, Norfolk State and Presbyterian made their NCAA tournament debuts after winning their first conference tournaments in program history. Nevada qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2000, Rider qualified for the first time since 2010 and Charlotte qualified for the first time since 2011. Auburn and Louisville were the lone teams from the 2019 College World Series field to fail to qualify.

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2021 NCAA Division I baseball season

The 2021 NCAA Division I baseball season play of college baseball in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level, began on February 19, 2021. The season progressed through the regular season, many conference tournaments and championship series, and concluded with the 2021 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and 2021 College World Series. The College World Series, consisting of the eight remaining teams in the NCAA Tournament and held annually in Omaha, Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, ended on June 30, 2021. The Mississippi State Bulldogs won the tournament, and were consequently named national champions. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the season was delayed one week, and some teams opted out of playing at all for the 2021 season. The Ivy League announced on February 18 that no conference competitions would take place, to include conference championships.

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College baseball

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the MLB. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges (i.e., two-year institutions) regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the 2020 season, which was abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 300 NCAA Division I teams in the United States (including schools transitioning from Division II to Division I). As with most other U.S. intercollegiate sports, competitive college baseball is played under the auspices of either the NCAA, the NAIA, the NJCAA, the CCCAA, or the NWAC. The NCAA writes the rules of play, while each sanctioning body supervises season-ending tournaments. The final rounds of the NCAA Division I tournament is known as the College World Series (CWS); while each of the three levels of competition sanctioned by the NCAA holds a championship tournament, the "College World Series" branding is reserved strictly for the final round of the Division I tournament. The CWS takes place in Omaha, Nebraska in June, following the regular season. The playoff bracket for Division I consists of 64 teams, with four teams playing at each of 16 regional sites (in a double-elimination format). The 16 winners advance to the Super Regionals at eight sites, played head-to-head in a best-of-three series.

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EA Sports

EA Sports is a division of Electronic Arts that develops and publishes sports video games. Formerly a marketing gimmick of Electronic Arts, in which they tried to imitate real-life sports networks by calling themselves the "EA Sports Network" (EASN) with pictures or endorsements with real commentators such as John Madden, it soon grew up to become a sub-label on its own, releasing game series such as FIFA, NHL, NBA Live and Madden NFL. Most games under this brand are developed by EA Vancouver, the Electronic Arts studio in Burnaby, British Columbia as well as EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida. The main rival to EA Sports is 2K Sports. Notably, both companies compete over the realm of NBA games, with 2K releasing the NBA 2K series. Konami is its rival in association football games with their own series, Pro Evolution Soccer. For several years after the brand was created, all EA Sports games began with a stylized five-second video introducing the brand with Andrew Anthony voicing its motto, "It's in the game", meaning that its games aimed at simulating the actual sports as authentically and completely as possible; Anthony was never compensated for his appearance and did it merely as a favour to a friend.Unlike some other sports game companies, EA Sports has no special ties to a single platform, which means that all games are released for the bestselling active platforms, sometimes long after most of the other companies abandon them. For example, FIFA 98, Madden NFL 98, NBA Live 98, and NHL 98 were released for the Sega Genesis and the Super NES throughout 1997; Madden NFL 2005 and FIFA 2005 had PlayStation releases in 2004 (FIFA 2005 and Madden NFL 2005 were also the last two PlayStation titles to be released); and NCAA Football 08 had an Xbox release in 2007. Madden NFL 08 also had Xbox and GameCube releases in 2007, and was the final title released for the GameCube, with Madden NFL 09 following as the final Xbox title. Additionally, NASCAR Thunder 2003 and NASCAR Thunder 2004 were released not only for the PlayStation 2, but for the original PlayStation as well. EA Sports brand name is used to sponsor English Football League Two team Swindon Town F.C. from the 2009–10 season onward and the EA Sports Cup in the Republic of Ireland.

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List of NCAA Division I baseball programs

The following is a list of schools that participate in NCAA Division I baseball. In the 2021 season, 300 Division I schools competed. These teams compete to go the 64-team Division I baseball tournament and then to Omaha, Nebraska, and TD Ameritrade Park, for the eight-team College World Series (CWS). Conference affiliations are current for the upcoming 2022 NCAA baseball season. Years of conference changes, indicated in footnotes, reflect baseball seasons, which take place in the calendar year after a conference change takes effect. Numbers of appearances in the NCAA Tournament and CWS, plus CWS titles, are current through the 2021 college baseball season.At least one Division I program did not play in the 2021 season due to COVID-19 concerns. On October 27, 2020, Bethune–Cookman, which already canceled its 2020 fall sports, announced that none of its other teams, including baseball, would play in the 2020–21 school year.Another Division I program will be downgraded after 2023. Hartford has begun its plan to drop its athletic department, including baseball, to Division III by the 2024 season.

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National Collegiate Athletic Association

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from up to 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps over 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. In August 1973, the current three-division system of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). In its 2016–17 fiscal year, the NCAA took in $1.06 billion in revenue, over 82% of which was generated by the Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. Controversially, the NCAA formerly capped the benefits that collegiate athletes could receive from their schools.

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Sports betting

Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal, underground cockfighting. It is not uncommon for sports betting websites to offer wagers for entertainment events such as the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards. Sports bettors place their wagers either legally, through a bookmaker/sportsbook, or illegally through privately run enterprises. The term "book" is a reference to the books used by wage brokers to track wagers, payouts, and debts. Many legal sportsbooks are found online, operated over the Internet from jurisdictions separate from the clients they serve, usually to get around various gambling laws (such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 in the United States) in select markets, such as Las Vegas, Nevada, or on gambling cruises through self-serve kiosks. They take bets "up-front", meaning the bettor must pay the sportsbook before placing the bet. Illegal bookies, due to the nature of their business, can operate anywhere but only require money from losing bettors and don't require the wagered money up front, creating the possibility of debt to the bookie from the bettor. This creates a number of other criminal elements, thus furthering their illegality.

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