For Florida and Virginia, Monday night's meeting in the winners' bracket of their side of the College World Series draw (~10 p.m., ESPN2 or WatchESPN) is a fight for the upper hand in the tournament.
For the winner, just like in the regionals that happened two weeks ago, a victory means only one more win will be needed to advance to the next round of competition. There's an added bonus this time, too: The winning team doesn't get just a few extra hours on the third day of a regional off, but three days off between Monday's game and Friday's clash with the team that emerges from the losers' bracket.
That's long enough for the Gators to pitch Logan Shore again, if they want, or for Virginia to maybe deploy injured ace Nathan Kirby as a gambit to use a one-game cushion to take a big swing at a national seed. (Virginia would, hypothetically, be facing either Florida or Miami: The 'Canes eliminated Arkansas earlier on Monday.)
The loser, though? The loser has to play again on Wednesday, and likely use a shakier third starter in an elimination game. And after that, the loser would still need to hand a team with no losses in Omaha two of them in consecutive contests.
The last team to lose a winners' bracket game and still make the CWS championship series was South Carolina in 2012, and the Gamecocks didn't win it all; no team this century has dropped a winners' bracket game and won it all, in fact.
So, yes, this one matters. Dearly.
Go get a win, Gators.