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2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Cornell Baseball Preview

The road to Omaha begins Friday, as the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament starts at 16 different regional sites which each will feature four teams playing a double-elimination tournament. Now, if you're a college baseball fan there's a lot of action to follow, so SB Nation New York figured to put together some capsules together to help you get acquainted with each of the local programs. Here's a rundown of the Cornell Big Red.

NCAA Baseball Tournament StoryStream

Regional: Chapel Hill -- Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC.

Opponents: North Carolina (44-14), East Carolina (35-22-1), St. John's (37-21).

Breakdown: For the first time since 1977, the Big Red will be playing in the NCAA Tournament. Cornell earned its way in by defeating Dartmouth in the Ivy League Championship Series, which ended on a 10th-inning, walk-off home run by sophomore outfielder Chris Cruz.

The Big Red will be in an odd situation, as they will be playing their first game in about three weeks. Cornell's last NCAA Tournament victory came in '77, when they downed this year's regional foe St. John's.

Players to watch: Cruz is by far the Big Red's best power-hitter, as he slugged a school record 12 home runs. Meanwhile, freshmen Brian McAfee (6-0, 3.19 ERA) and sophomore Connor Kaufmann (7-2, 4.00 ERA) are Cornell's best pitchers.

Watch/listen: Tar Heels Regional Link

For more on the NCAA Baseball Tournament, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.