NC State and Georgia meet on Saturday for the first in a best-of-3 series at Foley Field in Athens. For the winner, a spot in Omaha awaits.

The No. 7 national seed Bulldogs (42-15) are hosting a Super Regional for the first time since 2008. They swept through the Athens Regional this past weekend, beating Army, UNC Wilmington, and Georgia Tech. The No. 10 national seed Wolfpack (36-20) are their sixth appearance in a Super Regional and the first since 2021 when they eliminated top-ranked Arkansas in Fayetteville to reach the CWS.

Georgia is making its fifth appearance in the Supers, and when the Bulldogs have reached this level of the NCAA Tournament, they haven’t lost. They’ve won each of the previous 4 Super Regionals they’ve appeared in and hold an 8-3 overall record.

The Wolfpack are 7-12 away from home this season while the Bulldogs are 32-5 at home.

Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup.

Schedule

Game 1 — Saturday, June 8, Noon ET, ESPNU

Game 2 — Sunday, June 9, Noon ET, ESPN

Game 3 (if necessary) — Monday, June 10, TBD

Odds

The Bulldogs are the early betting favorites to win the Athens Super Regional. At FanDuel, Georgia is -154 to win the Super and advance to the College World Series. NC State can be had for +118. At the time of publication, the best value on a Georgia ticket was at FanDuel. NC State fans wanting to bet on the Wolfpack can get +140 odds at Caesars.

Athens Regional results

  • 8-7 win over Army
  • 11-2 win over UNC Wilmington
  • 8-6 win (10) over Georgia Tech

How Georgia got here

The Bulldogs lost 3 straight entering into the NCAA Tournament. They gave up 19 runs in a regular-season-ending loss to Florida at home on May 18. They gave up 9 runs in a one-and-done showing at the SEC Tournament. And they were heading into a postseason that hadn’t been kind to them in the last decade-plus.

Since a trip to the College World Series in 2008 (Georgia beat NC State 2-1 in the Supers that year to advance to Omahar), the Bulldogs were 0-5 in regionals. In Wes Johnson’s first year coaching the group, they’ve completely flipped the mentality.

“Every day you wake up you’ve got to believe in yourself,” Johnson said after the regional-clinching win. “No matter what it is you’re attacking. That’s something we talk a lot about. You’ve got to be the hero of your imagination.”

Georgia trailed Georgia Tech 5-2 after the first 2 innings, but pitched a shutout in innings 3-9 to claw back into the game. Single runs in the fifth, eighth, and ninth set the stage for extras, where a throwing error broke the tie and a 2-out, 2-RBI double from Corey Collins provided insurance.

Of course, the Bulldogs aren’t at this point without SEC Player of the Year and potential No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick Charlie Condon. The righty hit .500 in the regional, including a 2-for-3 performance with an RBI and a run last Sunday. Condon was walked 3 times in the game, twice intentionally so as not to let the nation’s leading home run-hitter (36) break the game.

Condon is a player that every pitching staff from this point forward has to be aware of. He’s a hitter who can change the complexion of a game with a single swing, and NC State’s plan for him in the Super Regional will be telling. But he’s also not the only threat. As a team, Georgia’s .436 on-base percentage ranks fourth in the country.

Raleigh Regional results

  • 9-2 win over Bryant
  • 6-4 win over South Carolina
  • 5-3 win over James Madison

How NC State got here

The Wolfpack ranks 157th in the country in team ERA (6.11). They’re 114th in batting average (.285), 78th in slugging percentage (.483), and 76th in on-base percentage (.399). Nothing screams elite, but State has certainly gotten a late-season boost from the return of a healthy Logan Whitaker and a young but talented bullpen.

Whitaker took the mound on Sunday in a regional-clinching win over James Madison, pitching 6 innings of 2-run ball. The 6-foot-6 righty has been a testament to perseverance throughout his career. Repeated surgical issues on his throwing arm kept him off the mound until his fourth year of school. This season, he excelled in March, posting 12.4 K/9 in his first 4 ACC games, before a digestive issue forced him to miss all of April. During the recovery, he lost more than 20 pounds and returned in May.

The starters hand off to relievers with confidence in Raleigh. Jacob Dudan and Derrick Smith have both enjoyed breakout seasons this year. Dudan, a righty, has a 4.17 ERA with a .208 batting average against and 6 saves. Smith, another righty, has 7 saves and 39 strikeouts in 23 innings of work. Batters are hitting .187 against him.

Alec Makarewicz, an East Carolina transfer in the offseason, leads the team in batting with a .379 average and 20 homers. He was one of 12 ACC hitters to clear 20 homers this season. But, of that group, he was one of only 3 who was also batting north of .350.

What the models are saying

Warren Nolan’s ELO ranking has the Bulldogs at No. 5 nationally and NC State at No. 8. Still, the model predicts a 10-3 Georgia win in Game 1 and a 9-3 win in Game 2.

Parker Fleming’s projections give Georgia a 67.3% chance to win the Super Regional and advance to Omaha. NC State has the second-best chance of any road team to win their Supers matchup, according to his projections.