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ACC Baseball Breakdown: UVA baseball in line to host regional?

ACC_Baseball_Digital_DBGThe UVA baseball team is ranked as high as eighth in the myriad college baseball national polls this week. That would seem to foretell a Charlottesville Regional being in the offing when NCAA Tournament play gets under way Friday, June 3.

But first things first: there are still some important games to play.

The Cavs (33-18, 16-11 ACC) host Virginia Tech (19-33, 6-21 ACC) this weekend in a key three-game, season-ending ACC series.

The key will be sweeping the lowly Hokies, whose 194 RPI will serve as a drag to Virginia’s 13 RPI even in the event of a sweep.

Next week is the ACC Tournament, which guarantees three games in pool play, and at most a fourth game for the two pool winners in the championship game.

The format is well-suited to keeping pitching staffs fresh heading into the NCAA Tournament, and there will be plenty of them in NCAA play.

The ACC has eight teams in the top 20 of the RPI – #2 Louisville (42-10, 19-8 ACC), #3 Miami (40-9, 19-6 ACC), #8 NC State (32-17, 13-12 ACC), #11 Clemson (34-18, 13-14 ACC), #13 Virginia (33-18 16-11 ACC), #14 UNC (33-19, 12-15 ACC), #15 Florida State (33-17, 15-8 ACC) and #18 Georgia Tech (33-18, 12-14 ACC).

Two other teams are lurking just outside – #27 Duke (31-21, 12-15 ACC) and #31 Wake Forest (31-20, 13-14 ACC), both in excellent position to earn at-large bids, assuming they can each lock up bids in the ACC Tournament next week, of course.

Boston College (29-18, 11-14 ACC) is 45th in the RPI, and has a chance to play its way in with a three-game series at Georgia Tech this weekend.

It will be a crazy weekend across the conference – with tournament bids and seeding on the line in series featuring UNC at NC State, Duke at Pitt, Clemson at Notre Dame, and Miami at Florida State.

Back to Virginia: the goal next week will be to win at least two of three, and if that gets the ‘Hoos to Sunday’s final, great, but if not, that’s 37 or 38 wins at the end of the regular season, more than enough to lock down a regional hosting gig.

Best-case scenario is win out and get into the discussion for a top eight national seed, and that is very much doable at this stage.

Though as last season demonstrated, where you play in June doesn’t matter as much as how you play.

Column by Chris Graham




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