Like baseball? LOVE college baseball? Enjoy seeing matchups of teams ranked in the top 5? Then I suggest you pay attention to what is going on in Chapel Hill this weekend.
It seems like we have been looking forward to this weekend for more than a month now. With both the Cavaliers and Tar Heels playing like teams bound for Omaha, this is surely the premier matchup in the country.
Both teams enter the weekend as one of only eleven teams with at least 40 wins already. Both teams have a top three RPI (UNC - 2 and UVa - 3). Both are expected to be national seeds in two weeks when the NCAA Tournament is announced. They hold the best two records in the ACC. They hold the top two team batting averages in the ACC, and two of the top four ERAs in the conference; both have sub-3 ERAs.
Needless to say, UNC is damn good. All three of their starters this weekend will have sub-3 ERAs, and all but two of their position players are batting over .300. There isn't much of a weak spot anywhere on UNC's roster, but luckily UNC's head coach Mike Fox knows that the same holds true for UVa.
If you're looking for some numbers that will make you feel better about UVa's chances, I haven't been able to find them. Historically the numbers don't help either. The Tar Heels hold a distinct advantage in the all-time record having won 176 of the 277 all time meetings. UNC has even won 6 of the last 7, with the only UVa win coming in the 2011 ACC tournament as the Hoos were on their way to the ACC title (yea, so UNC has swept the last two series). The last series win for UVa came in 2010 when the Hoos swept UNC in Charlottesville.
Heck, Coach O'Connor hasn't really been able to figure out the Tar Heels. Out of the ACC teams, NC St is the only team that has a better record against Oak. Even more shocking, he's only been able to take the series against UNC twice; in 2007 and 2010.
Don't fret too much though. While there is clearly a reason why UNC has been ranked in the top 2 the entire year, there is also a reason why UVa has skyrocketed through the rankings and find themselves in the top 10; they're no slouch either. Probably the best news is that UNC just lost their weekend series last weekend in Atalanta against Georgia Tech! They're slumping!
All that said, I am really not sure how this weekend will play out. Both teams are nearly identical in the stat department, UNC seems to always have UVa's number, and both teams have all but wrapped up their ACC seeds and NCAA national seeds. I am actually going to go against my gut which is telling me that the Heels are going to win the weekend and pick UVa to take two of three. UNC loves to get cocky when they get good, they stumbled last weekend against GT, and they truly have nothing to play for (they'll likely be the #1 ACC seed and a top 3 national seed in the NCAA tournament).
That's right, UVa takes two of three, you heard it here first. #HotSprotsTakes