NC State is the No. 3 seed in the ACC tournament this week, putting the Pack at the top of Pool C, which also includes No. 6 UNC and No. 10 Pitt. The Wolfpack will open pool play against Pittsburgh on Thursday night, and play UNC the following evening.
The winner of each pool advances to the semifinal round on Saturday. It’s not the most ideal tournament format, as it naturally leads to some meaningless games in the pool round, but it does safe pitching staffs.
As the highest seed in its pool, NC State would advance if all three teams end up 1-1, so that’s handy. Obviously the Wolfpack would like to make the matter academic simply by winning both its games.
UNC and Pitt play on Tuesday night, so Elliott Avent’s pitching decisions will likely hinge on the outcome of that game. If Pitt loses that game, then the Pack would need to beat UNC to advance, while the outcome of the game against the Panthers would not matter.