UCLA landed in Omaha, Nebraska on June 12. They had swept through the Regionals and the Super Regionals too. But they were underdogs.
If UCLA wasn't the least likely of the eight teams at the College World Series to take home the title, they were the second least likely. They could pitch, sure. They could also play defense. But they couldn't hit. At some point, one of the more talented teams in Omaha would out-hit them -- probably LSU or North Carolina, the two best teams in the country -- and then a second team would do it to send them home. The Bruins' trip to Omaha would end like it did in 2012, and in 2010 -- without a title.
But the Bruins beat LSU. They beat North Carolina too. And in between, they beat NC State. They also beat Mississippi St. twice.
Five games in Omaha, five wins.
13 days after UCLA landed in Omaha, they were the last team standing. They were national champions.