- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Virginia’s O’Connor is on home turf for CWS finals
Question of the Day
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Brian O’Connor has done just about everything at the College World Series except win a national championship.
He’s got his chance now.
The 43-year-old O’Connor is the local boy who has done well, leading Virginia to the best-of-three finals against Vanderbilt starting Monday night.
The Cavaliers’ 11th-year coach was born in Omaha, grew up across the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and as a kid attended CWS games with his dad at the old Rosenblatt Stadium.
When he was a college player at Creighton in Omaha, he pulled cable for ESPN during games every year except one.
That was 1991, when Creighton made its only appearance in the CWS, and O’Connor pitched in a game against Wichita State that people around here still talk about.
The featured player on the “Road to Omaha” statue in front of TD Ameritrade Park is, you guessed it, based on O’Connor’s likeness.
Try as he may, as he did Sunday during a joint news conference with Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, there’s no downplaying his deep connection to the area and event.
“It doesn’t mean any more to me than it does to coach Corbin or any of our players on either team,” O’Connor said. “A lot is to be made that I’m from here. It’s about these kids’ experience.
“The only difference between me and those young men is my birth record. It says Omaha, Nebraska. That’s it. It’s about their experience and their team, and that’s the way I’d like to keep it.”
Virginia (52-14) and Vanderbilt (49-20) both are in the finals for the first time. The Cavaliers went 3-0 in bracket play. The Commodores went 3-1 in their bracket.
Even Corbin, Vandy’s 12th-year coach, said Virginia’s home-field advantage is palpable.
“It’s neat to be a part of it, and it’s neat the way this tournament set up that it’s in Omaha,” he said before cracking a wide smile.
“And we’ll be in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, (Tuesday) because we’re home team, so we’ll utilize the 400 people who live in my small town and we’ll play there. No statue, though.”
Five things to know about the CWS finals:
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world