Things didn’t go well for the Hoos on Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 4 Duke for the 17th time in the last 18 meetings. Virginia fell behind early, but was able to close the gap to 12-11 with 2:49 remaining in the third quarter before the Blue Devils scored six straight to put the game away.
Second year attackman Michael Kraus had an outstanding game with four goals and five assists, and Mikey Herring added three goals.
With the loss, Virginia fell to 9-4 and 1-3 in the ACC and put their conference tournament fate in the hands of others. Only North Carolina had a worse record than the Hoos, but they still had two games left, the first of which took place shortly after Virginia’s loss to Duke. If UNC won both, they’d make the ACC tournament, if they lost one of the two...well things would get interesting.
It looked like the Hoos were going to have to sweat it out for another week as the Tar Heels held a 12-9 advantage on Syracuse late in the fourth. But, as Virginia fans are all too familiar with, the Orange weren’t done and mounted a late comeback to win in overtime.
Now, the ACC standings look like this:
- Syracuse: 4-0
- Duke: 3-1
- Notre Dame: 1-2
- Virginia: 1-3
- North Carolina: 0-3
As a reminder, only the top four teams make this year’s ACC tournament (the format is changing to include a play-in game next season), and this year’s event is in Charlottesville. Notre Dame and North Carolina play the last ACC game of the season, squaring off Saturday at noon.
Virginia’s spot as the No. 4 seed in the tournament will be locked up if:
- UNC loses to ND
- UNC beats ND, but by less that 15 goals
Why 15 goals, you ask? Well, in the case of a three-way tie at 1-3 with UVA, UNC, and ND, the first tie-breaker is goals against in conference play.
As they stand now:
- ND: 25
- UNC: 39
- UVA: 51 (!!)
As long as the differential in Saturday’s game isn’t UNC +15, the Fighting Irish will get pulled for the No. 3 seed based on goals allowed in conference. From there, it comes down to a head-to-head. Thanks to Virginia’s 15-12 win over the Tar Heels, the Hoos become the No. 4 seed! If - by some miracle - UNC manages to out-score Notre Dame by more than any goal total they’ve given up in a game, then Virginia ends up in a head-to-head with ND...and that’s not good.
ESPN’s Anish Shroff (along with Quint Kessenich) confirmed the tie-break procedure with the ACC directly, according to a tweet:
From ACC - goals allowed in conference... which ND likely wins. Then H2H with UVa-UNC. Not the verbiage on the website - but this came straight from the ACC. Q and I called to confirm this AM.— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) April 15, 2018
Hoo boy was that not right. The ACC clarified the tie break situation, and thanks to Shroff, we have it all laid out. As before, Virginia is in with a Notre Dame win.
If UNC wins... we get complicated pic.twitter.com/9j7XMb1fNv— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) April 21, 2018
So different from above, the goals against tie-break is the only tie-break that would be employed (the two with the fewest goals allowed would make the tournament). Also different, the ACC only takes into account the goals against in the games against each other, which definitely benefits Virginia.
Get all that?
In case that was confusing, the long and short of it is:
Virginia will be the No. 4 seed in the ACC tournament if Notre Dame wins, or as long as UNC gives up at least six goals but doesn’t beat Notre Dame by eight or more. Got it? Good.
[cringes] Let’s go Irish!