Happiness is a Warm TV

The 2018 NCAA baseball tournament starts Friday. Here's how to watch.

NC State's Avent on advantages of hosting NCAA regional baseball tournament

NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent talks with reporters about the ACC baseball tournament and the advantages to being one of the 16 NCAA regional tournament sites.
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NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent talks with reporters about the ACC baseball tournament and the advantages to being one of the 16 NCAA regional tournament sites.

We have three Triangle teams playing in the 2018 NCAA baseball tournament, and two of those teams — N.C. State and UNC — are host sites for this weekend's games.

Throw in East Carolina, Campbell, UNC-Wilmington and N.C. A&T (with Duke being the third Triangle team in play), and interest in college baseball is perhaps higher than ever.

The good news is that you can watch every single game on TV, if you wish, or see a good number of them in person. In addition to games being played in Raleigh and Chapel Hill this weekend (June 1-4), East Carolina will host its regional games in Greenville.

We have all the details on how to watch the games (all are on ESPN networks) and how to stream the games if you don't have cable.

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How does this work?

All games start on June 1.

A double-elimination format will determine the regional champion. The June 1 Game 1 and Game 2 winners in each regional will play each other on Saturday, June 2. The losers from Game 1 and Game 2 play each other as well, also on Saturday, June 2. The winner of the "winners" game will play the winner of the "losers" game on Sunday, June 3. If necessary, a seventh game will be played on Monday, June 4.

North Caroline short stop Ike Freeman (8) celebrates with his teammates after the Tar Heels rolled to an 11-2 victory over Virginia Tech on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

The 16 regional winners will advance to the super regionals for a best-of-three series (June 8-11). The final eight teams will move on to the College World Series in Omaha (June 16-26/27), another double-elimination series. Two teams will play in the College World Series championship game, a best-of-three championship series.

Most (but not all) games at this level will be played on ESPN3, ESPN's streaming channel which is available online or through the WatchESPN app (we've got info below on how to access that). Note that a few games are on ESPN2, ESPNU, SECU and one Texas game on LHN.

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How do I watch ESPN3?

Here's how to watch streaming games on ESPN3 online or the WatchESPN app.

First, if you’ve never done it before, you need to “authenticate” at WatchESPN.com, using the username and password for your cable or satellite provider.

Now you can get ready to watch.

On a computer: Go to espn.com/watch, click on the tab for either “Live” or “Upcoming” and select the game you’re looking for. The games are grouped by sport and are in chronological order.

WatchESPN app: On your smartphone, tablet or streaming device, open the WatchESPN app. From the app, you can find the game by clicking on “Sport,” then selecting “Football.” Click the tab for either “Live Now” or “Upcoming” and select the game you want to watch.

Roku, Apple TV, XBox 360, XBox One, Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chromecast: Search “WatchESPN” and add that channel. Scroll to “Browse by Channel” and select "ESPN3" or whichever the channel you're looking for. Select the content you want to view. You may have to activate the device with your cable or satellite username and password; it will give you instructions on the TV screen.

Duke coach Chris Pollard talks about the Blue Devils' upcoming three-game series against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Durham Bulls Athletic Park during a media availability Thursday, May 10, 2018.

What about SECU and LHN?

The SEC channel and the Longhorn Network are partnered with ESPN, so you can access them the same way you get ESPN3. Start at espn.com/watch or download the WatchESPN app and go from there.

Aren't ESPNU and ESPN2 regular cable channels?

Yes. A few games will be played on ESPN2 and ESPNU, which are both available through WatchESPN (follow instructions above) or straight through cable. ESPN channels are usually bundled, so if you have ESPN, you probably have ESPN2 and ESPNU. Check your on-screen guide for the exact channel.

What if I don't have cable?

If you're a cord-cutter currently getting your sports fix through a streaming service such as Sling, DirecTV Now, Playstation Vue or Hulu Live, you're in luck — they all come with access to ESPN channels and log-in credentials for the WatchESPN app.

North Carolina A T Bethune Cookman Baseball (1).JPG
North Carolina A&T players celebrate after winning the MEAC Championship over Bethune-Cookman in a college baseball game in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, May 20, 2018. NC A&T won, 12-9. Nigel Cook/The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP

Can I listen on the radio?

You can listen to all of the N.C. State games on WKNC 88.1 FM or stream the games live on wknc.org/listen.php.

You can listen to UNC games through goheels.com/watch/?Live=228&type=Live (Aggie fans can this link for the Friday game vs. NC A&T).

You can listen to Duke games at WDNC 620 AM The Ticket.

The ECU games will broadcast on WRHD 94.3 FM The Game, but if you're outside the broadcast area, you can listen at tunein.com/embed/player/s230309.

Listen to the UNC-Wilmington games at portal.stretchinternet.com/uncw.

Find the Campbell game at gocamels.com/watch/?Live=89&type=Live.

I could just go to the game, right?

There are games in Raleigh and Chapel Hill (and Greenville), so you could just go.

You can buy Raleigh Regional tickets through the N.C. State athletics site.

You can buy Chapel Hill Regional tickets through the UNC athletics site.

You can buy Greenville Regional tickets through the ECU athletics site.

If you want to trek down to Athens to see Duke play, tickets are available through the University of Georgia site.

ACC Duke Wake Forest Baseball.JPG
Virginia’s Jake McCarthy (31) slides safely into second base beating the tag by North Carolina State shortstop Will Wilson (8) during the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Regional schedules for June 1

Here's the schedule for the regional match-ups. You can print out a bracket here.

Raleigh Regional

#1 NC State vs. #4 Army West Point — 7 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Northeastern vs. #2 Auburn — 2 p.m., ESPN3

Chapel Hill Regional

#1 North Carolina vs. #4 N.C. A&T — 2 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Houston vs. #2 Purdue — 7 p.m., ESPN3

Greenville (NC) Regional

#1 East Carolina vs. #4 UNC-Wilmington — 7 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Ohio State vs. #2 South Carolina — 2 p.m., ESPN2

Athens Regional

#1 Georgia vs. #4 Campbell — 7:30 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Troy vs. #2 Duke — 2 p.m., ESPN3

ACC Duke Wake Forest Baseball(2).JPG
Duke's Jack Labosky (6) takes ball four from Wake Forest pitcher Antonio Melendez in the 13th inning, allowing teammate Duke's Griffin Conine (9) to score, in the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college baseball tournament, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Robert Willett/The News & Observer rwillett@newsobserver.com

Clemson Regional

#1 Clemson vs. #4 Morehead — 6 p.m., ESPN3

#3 St. John's vs. #2 Vanderbilt — Noon, SECN

Conway Regional

#1 Coastal Carolina vs. #4 LIU Brooklyn — 6 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Washington vs. #2 UConn — Noon, ESPN3

Tallahassee Regional

#1 Florida State vs. #4 Samford — 7 p.m., ESPNU

#3 Oklahoma vs. #2 Mississippi State — Noon, ESPNU

Gainesville Regional

#1 Florida vs. #4 Columbia — Noon, ESPN3

#3 Florida Atlantic vs. #2 Jacksonville — 6:30 p.m., ESPN3

Fayetteville (Ark) Regional

#1 Arkansas vs. #4 Oral Roberts — 2 p.m., ESPN3

#3 DBU vs. #2 Southern Miss — 7 p.m., ESPN3

Minneapolis Regional

#1 Minnesota vs. #4 Canisius — 7 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Gonzaga vs. #2 UCLA — 1 p.m., ESPN3

UNC baseball coach Mike Fox discusses the effect of the Tar Heels' postseason disappointment in 2017 and having the No. 1 seed in the 2018 ACC Championship after completing a sweep of Virginia Tech on May 19, 2018.

Lubbock Regional

#1 Texas Tech vs. #4 New Mexico — 1 p.m., ESPN3

#3 Kent State vs. #2 Louisville — 6 p.m., ESPN3

Oxford Regional

#1 Ole Miss vs. #4 Saint Louis — 6:30 p.m., SECN

#3 Missouri State vs. #2 Tennessee — 2 p.m., ESPN3

Stanford Regional

#1 Stanford vs. #4 Wright State — 7 p.m., ESPN2

#3 Cal State Fullerton vs. #2 Baylor — 2 p.m., ESPN3

Austin Regional

#1 Texas vs. #4 Texas Southern — 8 p.m., LHN

#3 Texas A&M vs. #2 Indiana — 4 p.m., ESPN2

Corvallis Regional

#1 Oregon State vs. #4 Northwestern — 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

#3 San Diego State vs. #2 LSU — 1 p.m., ESPNU

DeLand Regional

#1 Stetson vs. #4 Hartford — 7 p.m., ESPN 3

#3 Oklahoma State vs. #2 South Florida — 1 p.m., ESPN3

NC State coach Elliott Avent talks about playing at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the victory over UNC and the Wolfpack's upcoming games against Duke, North Carolina and ECU.