Coming off the exam break it is now crunch time for the Virginia Cavaliers as they make a bee line for the postseason.
This weekend, the Hoos will play host to the Clemson Tigers (31-18, 9-14). Clemson was thought to be a surefire NCAA Tournament caliber team this year, and after jumping out to a 14-1 start it looked like the Tigers were going to easily make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019. Alas, as their record indicates, the ACC schedule has not been kind to the Monte Lee’s tigers. They have been on a decent hot streak of late though winning three of their last four ACC series including a sweep of Georgia Tech last weekend. Unfortunately for Clemson, that series came at home while this weekend will be in Charlottesville and the Tigers are 2-9 on the road in ACC play.
The Cavaliers will want a strong final home weekend showing to erase the bad taste the Virginia Tech series left in their mouths after blowing an early 4-0 lead and losing to the Hokies on Sunday, 7-5.
Right now the ACC Coastal is Miami’s to lose. Virginia Tech is two games behind the Hurricanes and UVA is just one behind the Hokies. The Canes do have somewhat of a tough finishing stretch with having to travel to Tallahassee this weekend before hosting Notre Dame to end the season. Though they have a 2 game spread to make up, the Hokies have the easiest series left on the schedule with Duke in the final weekend, but they will have to take on fellow Top 10 opponent, Louisville this weekend. If possible, UVA fans need the Hokies to wear out the Cardinals since UVA will travel to Louisville next weekend to finish the regular season.
As it has been the last couple of years, the ACC Tournament will be split up in to four pods of three for pool play before the winners of each pod advancing to the single elimination semifinals. The winners of the two divisions receive the top two seeds of the Tournament, so Miami and Louisville would currently be the top two seeds in Charlotte. The other 10 teams to make the tournament are seeded according to ACC play win percentage.
As it stands, UVA would be the fifth seed behind the aforementioned Miami and Louisville, but also behind Virginia Tech and Notre Dame (both of whom played less than the 24 ACC games UVA has played). FSU comes in behind UVA in the 6th seed with NC State and Pittsburgh tying for the 7th seed and a .522 win percentage.
A sweep this weekend of Clemson would obviously go a long way in UVA’s quest to clinch a spot in the ACC Tournament and possible improve their standings in the pool play, but a series win should do enough to at least clinch a spot. It will be important to watch the other series over the final two weekends as the Hoos head into Charlotte to begin the ACC Tournament.