ACC Tourney Preview: Bracket Two

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Bracket Two

#1 Georgia Tech (38-16, 22-8)

Georgia Tech enters the tourney as the regular season champs. Georgia Tech is one of the nation's elite teams. The Yellow Jackets led the ACC in team batting average (.339). The Yellow Jackets also displayed quite a bit of power with 65 home runs, which was second in the league behind Clemson (68). Tech is led by ACC coach of the year Danny Hall, the third time he has won the award. Matt Wieters also won Rookie of the Year honors.

The pitching staff has a combined 4.51, which was seventh in the ACC. Georgia Tech will stick with its starting rotation of Blake Wood, Lee Hyde, and Ryan Turner. All three have combined for 23-6 record. Wieters is counted upon to do many things for Jackets, but he has been very effective as a closer. Wieters has 3.00 ERA in 21 appearances with five saves.

The Yellow Jackets are one of most impressive hitting teams in the country. Wes Hodges leads the team in batting average at .419, and Mr. Everything Wieters is second at .376. Shorstop Tyler Greene is 28 of 29 on stolen bases, while hitting .361 with 11 home runs. This powerful line up posted 10 or more runs in 29 games this season.

The Jackets are 15-3 against opponents in Bracket Two (4-2 against FSU and UNC).

#4 Florida State (48-16, 19-11)

Florida State will look to make a strong showing in the ACC Tournament to lock up a Tallahassee regional. Florida State has not had the hitting they have had in the past. This season FSU only has three batters hitting over .300 on the year. Therefore Head Coach Mike Martin has had to rely on his pitching staff to win ball games.

Bryan Henry (8-2, 1.44 ERA) is among the ACC leaders in ERA. Henry was selected as a member of the first team All-ACC on Monday.
The Seminoles staff is third in the ACC with a team ERA of 3.48. The Seminoles have the top closer in the league, Tyler Chambliss. Chambliss has 14 saves and a 2.16 ERA in 34 appearances. Barret Browning and Michael Hyde round out the Seminoles' starting rotation.

Shane Robinson may be the best leadoff man in the country. Robinson had a 41-game hitting streak at one point in the season. Robinson leads the ACC in five categories (batting average, total bases, hits, runs scored, stolen bases). The 'Noles are very dangerous on the base paths led by Robinson and Gibbs Chapman, first and third in the conference respectively. Robinson is 43 of 48 in the stolen bases department, while Chapman is 22 of 25. Chapman also leads the 'Noles in home runs with 10.

FSU was red hot winning 12 games in a row before losing the final two at NC State in the regular season. The Seminoles went 13-5 against Bracket Two teams, including 3-3 versus GT and UNC.

#5 North Carolina (40-15-1, 17-10-1)

After taking two of three from league leader Georgia Tech in its final series of the regular season, North Carolina has some much needed momentum heading into the ACC Tournament. Carolina has won three of its last four games heading into the postseason. Led by freshman shortstop Josh Horton (.376), the Tar Heels are batting an even .300. UNC has slugged 61 home runs in 56 games, led by the freshman duo of Chad Flack, who has 14 homers, and Seth Williams, who has 13. Designated hitter Matt Ellington has driven in a team-high 54 runs. On the mound, sophomore righty Robert Woodard leads the staff with a 2.38 ERA and is unbeaten at 7-0. Relievers Matt Danford (4-1, 9 saves, 1.48) and Jonathan Hovis (5-4, 5 saves, 2.73) anchor the bullpen. The Tar Heels sport a staff ERA of 3.24.

The Tar Heels will start Woodard, Daniel Bard, and Andrew Miller. The Heels starting rotation is as dangerous as they come in college baseball. All three are highly thought of prospects. If UNC is able to provide run support, this could prove to be a very tough team to beat in the tournament.

The Heels are 12-4 against Bracket Two opponents, going 2-4 against FSU and Georgia Tech.

***The eighth and final team will be determined on Tuesday via a single elimination tournament. #8 Wake Forest plays #11 Duke, and #9 Virginia Tech plays #10 Maryland. The two winners will play Tuesday night at 8:00 pm, and the winner will face Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

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