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NCAA Baseball 2012: No. 7 Baylor And Texas Face Off With Omaha Chances On Mind This Weekend

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After a sweep at the hands of Oklahoma last weekend, the No. 7 Baylor Bears need wins to ensure a national seed and home field advantage until a possible trip to Omaha for the College World Series. Texas hasn't had the sort of season to which they are accustomed and isn't in the national seed discussion, but a good showing against Baylor this weekend can lock down their spot in the tournament and give them a better shot at making a darkhorse run in the postseason.

No. 7 Baylor (40-13, 18-3) can finish the year with the second-best winning percentage in the Big 12's 16-year history with a series win, second only to Texas' 2010 mark of 24-3 in conference play. After blowing out Texas-San Antonio 14-3 on Tuesday, Baylor extended its school-record home winning streak to 21 games, including the 11 conference games they have played in Waco this year. Some outlets are saying the Bears have already clinched a national seed; others point to their 9-7 record against the RPI Top 50 and say "not so fast." A series win against Texas would change those doubters' minds.

The Longhorns (29-18, 13-8) currently rank No. 50 in the RPI, which means they are living in that murky Bracketology land where ESPN has them as a lock for at least a 3-seed and making a trip to Houston to fight it out with Rice and TCU, yet Baseball America says to feel safe the 'Horns need a series win against Baylor or a run in the Big 12 tourney.

All three games can be heard on Waco's ESPN Radio 1660 AM and Austin's KVET 1300 AM "The Zone," or streamed at the Baylor or Texas athletics websites.

Game One: Thursday 6:30 CDT, TV: MYTX

Steve Smith and Augie Garrido both throw their best left-handers in Waco Thursday night. The Bears look to have the advantage, as they start Josh Turley (7-0, 1.59) a quintessential crafty southpaw who rarely cracks 90, but his stuff breaks hard enough he'll likely go in the first 10 rounds of June's MLB Draft. Freshman Dillon Peters (4-0, 2.61) has been solid for the 'Horns, though he doesn't always go deep into games.

Game Two: Friday 6:30 CDT, TV: LHN

Star closer Corey Knebel (4-3, 1.29) makes his second start of the year for Texas. Trent Blank (9-1, 2.30) dropped his first decision of the year at Oklahoma last week; he went eight innings and gave up one run to get a loss.

Game Three: Saturday 2 p.m. CDT, TV: LHN

Baylor's Tyler Bremer (5-1, 3.41) and Texas' John Curtiss (2-2, 3.40), both usually bullpen arms, are slated to make starts in the series finale.

For more Dallas-area college baseball coverage and the road to Omaha, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.