ACC Baseball Tournament

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ACC Baseball Tournament

The Atlantic Coast Conference had perhaps the nation's premier baseball tournament for many years and drew record crowds every year it was held in Greenville.  For some reason the ACC changed venues and formats and the tournament has never been the same.  The ACC has had some crazy formats for its baseball tournament through the years and this year is no different.

I consider myself to be of average intelligence but I still have a hard time understanding this format or the reason they adopted it.  I am not an expert on the format but here is the way I understand it:

Ten teams make the tournament.  I am not sure why all 14 teams that play baseball do not make it but that is another topic.  So, 10 teams make the field.  The top six teams get a bye.  Seeds 7 through 10 have to play in a one-game play-in round.  Two teams seeded between 7 and 10 will be eliminated in the play-in round, while the two winners will move on to the next rounds.

Once the field has been narrowed to eight teams they will be divided into two pools of four teams each.  Each pool will determine its champion through a double-elimination format.  The winner of pool A will play the winner of pool B in a single elimination championship game.

So if I understand this, the ACC baseball committee eliminates four teams by not inviting them to the tournament.  Four teams play single elimination to get to join six other teams in double elimination to determine the top two teams for a single elimination title game.  Got it?  Make sense?

If the season ended today, Clemson would be the sixth seed with two weeks left in the regular season.  However, the Tigers have a big advantage in terms of scheduling over the final two weekends.

Clemson plays at Notre Dame (4-20) and hosts Boston College (8-19).

Here is the current standings and their remaining opponents:

1-Miami 19-5 (@Duke, UNC)

2-Virginia 18-6 (Georgia Tech, @Wake Forest)

3-FSU 17-7 (@UNC, Duke)

4-Duke 15-9 (Miami, @FSU)

5-UNC 13-11 (FSU, @Miami)

6-Clemson 12-11 (@Notre Dame, Boston College)

7-Georgia Tech 14-13 (@Virginia)

8-Wake Forest 12-12 (@NC State, Virginia)

9-Maryland 12-14 (@Pittsburgh)

10-Pittsburgh 11-13 (Maryland, @Notre Dame)

11-NC State 9-15 (Wake Forest, @Virginia Tech)

12-Boston College 9-18 (@Clemson)

13-Virginia Tech 8-19 (NC State)

14-Notre Dame 4-20 (Clemson, Pittsburgh)

Clemson plays the current number 12 and 14 seeds in the final two weeks.  The Tigers could get the fifth seed currently held by North Carolina, who has a one game lead over Clemson.  The Tar Heels finish with the number one and number three seed over the final two weekends in Miami on the road and Florida State.

The Tigers have a shot at the fourth seed currently held by Duke who has a 2.5 game lead over Clemson.  The Blue Devils get Miami and at FSU in the last two weekends.

So Clemson will be playing two of the three bottom teams in the league while the two teams ahead of the Tigers play two of the top three teams in the league.

The final two weekends will also feature other big battles.  The top seeds are still up in the air.  Also teams like NC State are trying to get in the tournament while teams like Pittsburgh are trying to stay in the top ten to advance to the tournament.

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