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ACC Baseball Tournament Enters the Weekend

Although nowhere near as chaotic as the Big XII baseball tournament, the ACC tournament has had some rough spots in the B division that has resulted in an interesting matchup in the finals. If (like me) you don't know how the tournament is run, it's pretty simple. There are eight teams - Virginia Tech, Boston College, Maryland and Duke don't qualify with their sub-.380 records - divided into two divisions by seed. Each division plays a round robin, and the two teams that come out on top play in the finals on Sunday.

Top seed Miami has all but clinched the A division by beating both 5-seed Georgia Tech and 8-seed Clemson. If they beat N.C. State today they advance, if they lose but Georgia Tech wins, they take the tie-breaker and still advance. The Wolfpack have to not only knock off the top team in the country, they have to hope Clemson pulls off an upset as well to make it to the finals.

On the other side of the bracket, however, is where the chaos happened. 6-seed Virginia upset both of the higher seeds in their division, taking UNC 8-7 in an eleven-inning shocker, and then following it up by beating Florida State. As UNC and FSU play Saturday, the best case scenario is that UVa loses to winless Wake Forest. But even should that occur, the Hoos will break the tiebreaker against whichever of the two joins them at 2-1.

This is the second straight year the ACC has used this format, which last year sent 8th-seeded Wake Forest to the finals against the Heels. (UNC won.)  Prior to that the league ran a two-division, four-team double-elimination tournament  with a single championship game, and with every conference addition, and prior to that, well, there were a lot of priors. The Wikipedia page on the tournament has the full, hilarious list of formats.

Even with UNC eliminated from contention, they should get a host-site selection for the NCAA's starting next week.