The ACC baseball tournament could be a little extra fun this year, what with three of the top four seeds all residing in the Triangle. UNC is the No. 1 seed (blech), Clemson is No. 2, NC State is No. 3, and Duke is No. 4.
NC State will open up tournament play against No. 10 UVA on Thursday afternoon, then close out pool play with a game against No. 6 FSU on Friday night.
The baseball tournament format can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with it—actually, it can be confusing even if you are familiar with it. Not everybody gets in: only 12 teams make the field. That 12-team field is broken down into four three-team pools. In pool play, it’s a round-robin format, and the winners of each pool advance to the semifinals on Saturday. The title game is on Sunday.
Yes, it’s clunky, but finding an appropriate conference tournament format for baseball has always been next to impossible. The pool-play format at least establishes a uniform number of games that’ll be played by each team and is generally less taxing on pitching than a double-elimination format. (Which was the format back in the day.)
NC State is the top seed in Pool C, which also includes the Hoos and Seminoles. Pool play begins on Tuesday, though the Wolfpack has off the first two days of the tournament.
The Wolfpack didn’t play Virginia during the regular season, and the Cavaliers are having an uncharacteristic down year. Which means, unfortunately, that game is not going to be of any help in the RPI. Best to win it anyhow, I figure.