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Friday, June 17, 2011
Covering all the bases

By Whitney Holtzman

College baseball: Besides its steaks, Omaha's other claim to fame -- the College World Series -- will open play this weekend. This will be the first CWS played in the brand-new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. From 1950 through last year's series, Rosenblatt Stadium was the host of the "Greatest Show on Dirt." The College World Series features two brackets of four teams -- so eight teams are vying for the title -- and each team must lose twice to be eliminated. To determine a national champion, the winner of each bracket will compete in a best-of-three series in late June. Here's a breakdown of the first set of games this weekend:

Vanderbilt, which is playing in its first-ever College World Series, will meet third-ranked North Carolina in the opening game on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, ESPN). In the nightcap, two powerhouse sports programs will face off. Florida, which is making back-to-back appearances in the CWS for the first time, will take on the mighty Texas Longhorns (7 p.m., ESPN).

Sunday's opening game is a true David vs. Goliath matchup. The Virginia Cavaliers are the top-ranked team, and they'll meet the unranked Cal Golden Bears, who were in danger of being cut from the school's athletic program just nine months ago due to budgetary constraints (2 p.m., ESPN). Last but certainly not least, the defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks will meet the Texas A&M Aggies Sunday (7 p.m., ESPN2).

Golf: The U.S. Open is in full swing (no pun intended) from Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Hanging out with Dad watching the winner get crowned on Sunday will be the perfect way to spend Father's Day. Defending champion Graeme McDowell is on a quest to repeat, while Phil Mickelson is in search of his first U.S. Open title. With a total purse of $7.5 million up for grabs, we're sure to see a great weekend of tournament play, even without Tiger in the mix (2 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC).

MLB: The always-exciting interleague play will be sweeping major league baseball. Each day this weekend -- starting today -- there will be six interleague games in American League stadiums and eight in National League parks. Check your local listings to see whom your favorite team is facing. Interleague play provides a great opportunity to get a glimpse of a club that you may not get a chance to see on a regular basis.