HUGE! The word is an understatement to describe Virginia's dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 extra innings win over the UNC Tar Heels. The win puts Virginia's magic number to clinch the ACC tournament at one over Wake Forest and two over Virginia Tech. With two games remaining, the Hoos can still finish anywhere between 5th and 11th in the league. With so many scenarios in play, let's explore all the possibilities based on how Virginia finishes their series with UNC.
If the Hoos go:
5th - Clemson and NC State lose both games AND Georgia Tech loses at least once
6th - Clemson and NC State lose both weekend games AND Georgia Tech wins both games;
Clemson or NC State win one weekend game, the other loses both AND Georgia Teach loses at least once
7th - Clemson or NC State win one weekend game, the other loses both AND Georgia Teach wins both
Clemson and NC State win at least one weekend AND Georgia Tech loses once
8th - Clemson and NC State win at least one weekend AND Georgia Tech wins both weekend games
8th - Georgia Tech loses both games AND Virginia Tech loses at least once
9th - Georgia Tech loses both games AND Virginia Tech wins both games;
10th - Georgia Tech wins once AND Virginia Tech wins both games
9th - Wake Forest loses at least once AND Virginia Tech loses both games
10th - Wake Forest loses at least once OR Virginia Tech loses both games
11th - Wake Forest wins both games AND Virginia Tech wins at least once
It is important to note that if the Hoos can sweep the Tar Heels; get a lot of help from Clemson, NC State, and Georgia Tech (playing Florida State, Louisville, and Miami respectively); finish in either 5th or 6th place, then they will avoid the Tuesday play-in games.
Unfortunately, Virginia's scenarios for making the NCAA tournament aren't as cut and dried. However, their outlook still looks good as of today. Their RPI currently stands at 25, and their record against the RPI top 50 is 14-10. 14 top 50 wins is extremely strong for a bubble team. In fact only three teams (UCLA, Florida State, and Louisville) have more and they all reside in the top 10.
Should the Hoos drop the next two games and miss out on the ACC Tournament, all hope is not lost. In 2010, UNC went 36-20 overall and 14-16 in the ACC and missed the ACC Tournament. They made the NCAA Tournament it by virtue of a strong non-conference and quality wins, a profile very similar to Virginia's.
If UVA makes the ACC Tournament due to Wake Forest or Virginia Tech faltering, they should be in good shape for the NCAA Tournament, however winning the play in game and perhaps a game in pool play will go a long way to solidifying an at-large bid.
If they win the series against UNC, I cannot see a scenario where UVA does not hear their name called on Selection Sunday. 15 or 16 wins against the RPI top 50 and at-worst a 10th place finish in the second best conference in the country would figure to be enough. Add to that series wins over Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and East Carolina and the Hoos would make it very hard to keep them out of the field.