There is a lot of reasonable gripe about the formatting of the ACC Tournament for baseball. Twelve of the conference’s teams get in, but losers on Tuesday have to play a meaningless game immediately afterward. For Boston College, that game comes against the Tar Heels.
NC State won the first Pool B contest yesterday, beating Boston College. The Wolfpack now await the Tar Heels on Friday for the right to advance to the semifinals on Saturday. Today’s game between Carolina and BC is meaningless.
Should Carolina lose today (which they shouldn’t), they still advance with a win over the Wolfpack on Friday. All of this is thanks to tiebreaker rules that favor the higher seed. There are ways to fix this, of course, but those aren’t the current rules we’re playing under this time around.
That being the case, there’s really no pressure on Carolina today. Their heavy artillery (starting pitchers J.B. Bukauskas and Luca Dalatri) will be saved for games that carry more weight. Today is all about getting good swings, staying loose, and prepping for what matters on Friday.
It’s unlikely that the Tar Heels drop Wednesday’s game against BC. Carolina has proven to be one of the top teams in the country while the Eagles had to play their way into just the conference tournament. Still, today serves the purpose of a tune up for the Heels when the Eagles probably just want to get out of town.
How fun these Tar Heels are is worth tuning in for, regardless of the stakes. They are a never-say-die bunch that never truly seem out of any game because of their ability to hit their way back from nearly any deficit. There are special teams, and this may be one of them. After last year’s disappointment, the promise of what could be for this year’s Tar Heels is worth watching.
You can catch today’s game against Boston College at 3:00 pm ET on FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolina, FOX Sports Go, or ACC Network Extra, depending on where you are located.
Update: Because of weather today in Louisville, UNC/BC will begin one hour after the conclusion of Notre Dame/Florida State. The Fighting Irish and Seminoles got underway at 2:00 pm ET, so there will be a bit of a delay.