The College World Series uses a double-elimination format, which means there’s at least some margin for error for each of the eight qualifying teams.
Only 25 NCAA baseball national champions in 72 years of the College World Series, or 35 percent, have gone undefeated in the tournament en route to clinching a CWS title. The last time it happened was in 2013 when UCLA swept through the bracket.
Here are the 25 national champions to win every game during their College World Series championship runs:
|year||school||record in cws|
|2011||South Carolina (55-14)||5-0|
|2007||Oregon State (49-18)||5-0|
|2001||Miami (Fla.) (53-12)||4-0|
|1999||Miami (Fla.) (50-13)||4-0|
|1995||Cal State Fullerton (57-9)||4-0|
|1982||Miami (Fla.) (55-17-1)||5-0|
|1978||Southern California (54-9)||5-0|
|1973||Southern California (51-11)||5-0|
|1968||Southern California (43-12-1)||5-0|
|1961||Southern California (36-7)||5-0|
Twelve different schools have accomplished this feat, led by LSU, Texas and USC, who have each done so four times.
The College World Series format has shifted a couple times over the tournament’s 73-year history, which accounts for the difference in minimum number of games played for the above champions. Here’s a brief timeline of changes to the CWS bracket layout:
Eight teams were selected to the inaugural NCAA tournament field, split into two four-team brackets played with single elimination. The two advancing teams advanced to the College World Series, a best-of-three final series.
The only change in Year 2 was making the two original four-team brackets play in double-elimination. Once again, the final two teams advanced to the College World Series, a best-of-three series.
The College World Series field was expanded to four teams, played in double-elimination format.
The modern eight-team CWS field was introduced. It stayed in a double-elimination format through the final series.
The eight-team field was split into two four-team brackets. The winner of each quadrant advanced to a one-game championship matchup to decide the national title.
The current format’s only change was making the championship series a best-of-three series between the two winners of each half of the bracket. This means a team can lose twice — once in bracket play, once in the final series — and still win the title.