National seed at stake for Tigers as ACC tourney play begins
|Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 5:08 PM- -|
CLEMSON – More than an ACC Championship is on the line for No. 6 Clemson this week as the Tigers begin play in the ACC Tournament in Durham. A national seed in the NCAA Tournament might also be at stake.
Clemson opens ACC tournament play Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Notre Dame, before facing Miami Thursday at 7 p.m. Notre Dame and Miami play on Tuesday, and the Tigers, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, can advance to the semifinals by beating the winner of Notre Dame and Miami.
The Tigers are currently No. 11 in the RPI entering this week’s tournament and their strength of schedule is No. 30.
D1Baseball released its latest projections for the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday and has the Tigers as the No. 9 overall seed, hosting a regional, but missing out on a national seed.
“They’ve got some good things going for them, no doubt; they’re right on the edge. Problem is, despite all those wins, they’re still just 11th in the RPI and 3-7 vs. top 25 and a modest 13-9 vs. top 50,” D1Baseball said in a tweet. “All the other candidates trump them in RPI, and most have better tier records.”
The top eight seeds have an opportunity to host a regional the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament before hosting a super regional if they advance out of their regional.
Head coach Monte Lee said the Tigers deserve a national seed.
“We tied for the lead in the ACC in regular seasons wins with 22. We were 43-13, which was the best in all Power Five schools in the country,” Lee told TigerNet Monday. “In the country, and there are 295 Division I schools. Tennessee Tech won more games than us and nobody else. There is not a Power Five school in the country that won more regular season games than Clemson. So, if you value what a team does in the regular season then we most certainly should be a national seed.”
Clemson hasn't reached a Super Regional since 2010 when it advanced all the way to the College World Series. The Tigers are essentially a lock for a top-16 seed but may have to reach the ACC Tournament's semifinal in order to secure a cherished national seed.
Lee said the ACC’s funky pool-play format isn’t his concern.
“I’m not really all that smart when it comes to tournaments and how they are set up. I’ve played in a couple different formats, a couple different formats of tournament play,” Lee said. “I’ve played in 8-team double elimination, I’ve played in 8-team tournaments where the top two seeds get byes, I’ve played in a lot of different tournament formats and the one thing that I’ve learned is that the same types of teams end up winning them. No matter if it’s pool play or double elimination.
“If you pitch a good game and hit and defend and get runners in scoring position and don’t beat yourself, you give yourself a chance to win any tournament. So, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really spend a lot of time worrying about all that, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about who we are playing. Just worry about what we do. The consistency on my end is just worrying about my team and putting us in a position to win. So whatever the format is we are going to play in it, embrace it, and we’ll be ready to go, again I don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying out it.”