ACC Baseball Tournament Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

The ACC Baseball Tournament is just a week away. Let's take a look at where the teams stand and the changes to the tournament.

First things first, with the constant Conference expansion that is taking place, the ACC has yet again decided to change the format for the upcoming ACC tournament. Instead of an 8 team and 2 pool round robing tournament, or a standard double elimination format, the conference has chosen to go with a 10 team, two play-in game, two pool double elimination tournament*, with a conference championship on Sunday. Confused yet? Yea, it is confusing.

Let's break it down a bit.

10 teams will make the tournament and be seeded 1-10. The Coastal and Atlantic Division winners will be the top two seeds with the best conference record as the top seed. Easy enough. Teams 7 through 10 will play a Tuesday play-in game to make it to pool play; 7 v. 10 & 8 v. 9. Not that hard. After the play-in games, the two pools will play double elimination tournament culminating with a "championship" game on Saturday to determine the winner of the pool. That's not hard, except one team could enter Saturday with no losses, lose one game, and not have a chance to redeem itself and make Sunday's Championship Game. (Personally, I think that is stupid) The winners of the two pools will play Sunday for the ACC Crown.

Basically, double-elimination to make it to the semis -- Saturday games -- the final four, if you will -- and then single elimination after.

After posting, we received word from the ACC themselves that the double elimination format that has been discussed by many others is actually, in fact, not a real thing. The two four team pools will actually play a round robin tournament similar to previous years, with the two winners advancing to Sunday to play in the Championship game.  That makes things a lot clearer. Sorry for the confusion.

If I understand the seeding correctly, Pool A will be seeds 1, 8/9, 4, & 5 while Pool B will be 2, 7/10, 6, & 3. It's unclear if the ACC will reseed the two play in teams after the play-in games, but I can't imagine them doing something like that.

Tuesday, May 20 Wednesday, May 21 Thursday, May 22 Friday, May 23 Saturday, May 24 Sunday, May 25
#7 vs. #10
Game 1
11:00 a.m.
Game 3
11:00 a.m.
Game 6
11:00 a.m.
Game 9
11:00 a.m.
Game 12
11:00 a.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP
Pool A Winner
vs.
Pool B Winner
1:00 p.m.
ESPN 2
#8 vs. #9
Game 2
3:00 p.m.
Game 4
3:00 p.m.
Game 7
3:00 p.m.
Game 10
3:00 p.m.
Game 13
3:00 p.m.
STL Logo
Game 5
7:00 p.m.
Game 8
7:00 p.m.
Game 11
7:00 p.m.
Game 14
7:00 p.m.

(We have no idea who or what pools will play in what games [they'll be announced Sunday after the ACC figures out what seeds UNC and NC St are], but this was on the ACC website and wanted to show y'all.)

Now, as to how the ACC is shaping up with one weekend left to play:

Most importantly, the Cavaliers will be either the #1 or the #3 seed. Should they end up in a tie with Miami, they will be the Coastal Division Champs thanks to the head to head series win in late March. If Miami sweeps UNC this weekend in Coral Gables, the Hoos would be the #3 seed because FSU has already claimed the Atlantic Division crown. This is what the standings look like right now:

Team ACC Record Final Series Opp.
1 Miami 22-5 UNC
2 FSU 19-8 Duke
3 UVa 21-6 @Wake
4 Duke 15-12 @FSU
5 UNC 14-13 @Miami
6 UMD 15-14 -----
7 Clemson 13-13 BC
8 GT 14-16 -----
9 Wake 13-14 UVa
10 NC St 11-16 @VPISU
11 Pitt 11-16 @ND
12 BC 9-18 @Clemson

Eliminated: VPISU (8-19) & Notre Dame (6-21)

It will be interesting to see how this weekend plays out. Many perennial powerhouse teams are towards the bottom of the conference right now fighting for not only their NCAA Tournament birth, but their ACC Tournament birth as well.

For UVa fans, while you will obviously be paying attention to Winston Salem this weekend when the Hoos take on the Demon Deacons, you'll also want to keep an eye on Coral Gables. If UVa can sweep Wake and UNC can take at least one from Miami, the Hoos will secure the #1 seed for the ACC tournament and assure themselves that they wouldn't have to play Miami or FSU (the other two good teams in the ACC) til Sunday.

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