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NCAA Baseball Tournament 2012 Bracket Preview: Gary Regional A Stout Test For No. 3 Seed Kent State

The Kent State Golden Flashes capped off a 41-17 campaign with yet another Mid-American Conference title in impressive fashion over the weekend, and were promptly given a No. 3 seed and shipped off to a dangerous Gary Regional to kick off the college baseball postseason.

In addition to the Big Ten champion and No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers, Kent State will also have to deal with a third-seeded Kentucky squad that won 43 games, and an upstart Valparaiso bunch that happens to playing extremely close to its own backyard.

While it might still be vital that the Flashes are able to avoid a loss in their first game, the double elimination format ensures that Kent State could very well have a chance to advance to the Super Regionals next week even with a loss to Kentucky to kick things off. If Kent State is not able to slide by the Wildcats, a date in Saturday's loser-goes-home match with the loser of game two would be on the horizon.

Here is the full Gary Regional schedule:

Game 1: No. 3 Kent State vs. No. 2 Kentucky, Friday June 1, 4:00 pm EST

Game 2: No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 4 Valparaiso, Friday June 1, 8:00 pm EST

Game 3: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, Saturday June 2, 4:00 pm EST

Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, Saturday June 2, 8:00 pm EST

Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser, Sunday June 3, 4:00 pm EST

Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, Sunday June 3, 8:00 pm EST

Game 7: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, Monday June 4, 8:00 pm EST (if necessary)

For more 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament coverage, stay with this StoryStream.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.