The ACC has announced the pool assignments and schedule for the ACC Tournament which will be played at the Durham Athletic Park.
The Heels are seeded fourth and assigned to Pool A with #1 UVa, #5 Miami and #8 Wake Forest. Pool B consists of #2 FSU, #3 Georgia Tech, #6 Clemson and #7 NC State. By rule the division winners are automatically assigned seeded #1 and #2. That means Coastal Division winner Virginia is the #1 seed and Atlantic Division winner Florida St. is #2. FSU has the fifth best conference record in the ACC and also played in the weaker division of the two.
There is some issue here as to how fair it is that FSU is seeded second and whether the ACC should even have divisions in baseball. I am not certain what purpose the divisions serve since every ACC team players all the other league schools except for one(which is another annoyance I won't touch right now.) In fact the only purpose I see in the divisions is to have division winners, one of which you can potentially seed well above their record. If the ACC stuck to conference record, UNC would be the #3 seed and play in Pool B with Georgia Tech, Clemson and NCSU. On paper that appears to be an easier route and avoids seeing UVa until the title game. Then again this is baseball which means it has a tendency to be unpredictable. UNC's record versus the Pool A teams is 5-4. UNC went 1-2 versus both Wake Forest and Miami but swept UVa. For the record, UNC has a 6-6 mark versus Pool B going 2-1 versus FSU, 1-2 versus Georgia Tech, 3-0 versus Clemson and 0-3 versus NC State. That means UNC is 11-10 versus the rest of the field and 5-10 versus teams not named Virginia and Clemson. Correction: I left FSU out of UNC's record versus the rest of the field. I have now included it.
The schedule for the Heels is as follows:
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And here are the records for UNC's starting pitchers versus Pool A teams:
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Only Patrick Johnson started against all three teams. Johnson and Kent Emanuel both recorded complete games against Pool A teams. Chris Munnelly came in from the bullpen in the first game versus Miami. In his start versus Wake Forest, Munnelly gave up three runs without recording an out when Mike Fox pulled him. All three pitchers had outstanding starts versus Virginia. The question is whether Fox will stick with this rotation or use a midweek starter. Since the games fall on Thursday-Friday-Saturday the normal one week rest will apply since UNC played Thursday-Friday-Saturday against Virginia.
Since UNC is chasing a national seed, going 2-1 versus Pool A should help their case. Advancing to the title game is not necessary is UNC beats Miami and Wake Forest but loses to UVa. Of course the best way to wrap up a national seed is to win the whole thing.