Spring has sprung. The ACC basketball season is more than halfway over. Signing day is in the rear-view mirror. It’s time to start thinking about baseball.
Yes, I know Bryce Harper hasn’t signed anywhere. But that doesn’t meant the Virginia Cavaliers won’t take the field soon even with a threat of snow every other week still!
This year the Cavaliers will look to make up for lost time due to missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Coach O’Connor’s storied tenure at UVa. As always, the ACC schedule is a bear, but this year the out of conference slate is one of the toughest in recent memory.
As it stands now, the Hoos will play eight teams that made last year’s NCAA Tournament and five teams currently ranked in D1Baseball’s Preseason Top 25.
The Hoos will kick off the season in one of the best opening weekend tournaments in the country in Scottsdale, Arizona. They’ll be joined by perennial powerhouses Cal State Fullerton, TCU, and Vanderbilt. All of which have a postseason history with the Cavaliers. Not to mention Vanderbilt currently ranked No. 1 in the country.
Of the remaining out of conference opponents, only UCONN made last year’s tournament. The Huskies will travel to Charlottesville for a midweek game on March 20th. Rounding out the out of conference opponents are a smattering of northeast and Virginia teams including VMI, Villanova, William and Mary, Seton Hall, Wagner, Liberty, Longwood, Richmond, ODU, Norfolk State, Radford, JMU, and VCU. The Hoos will make three trips away from Davenport Field in those out of conference games with midweek trips to Liberty, JMU, and the annual trip to the Diamond in VCU so VCU can set their stadium attendance record.
With ten series on the schedule in ACC play, half of the teams UVa will face made the postseason last year. UVa’s two toughest opponents will be Louisville, who come to Charlottesville in early May, and UNC, who will host the Cavaliers in late April.
Rounding out the non-Coastal ACC opponents UVa will see this season will be Notre Dame, NC State, and Florida State. FSU and NC State both have high expectations this season and expected to challenge Louisville for the Atlantic Division crown.