Observations from Greensboro: The latest on ACC Baseball

acc baseball tournamentVirginia, Florida State are top eight national seeds: Virginia (RPI 1) and Florida State (RPI 4) are merely playing for positioning in the top eight. Their Saturday night game could be a college world series preview. (Funny how neither can play on Sunday in the ACC championship game with what has already happened here.)

Miami out of the running for Super Regional host site: Unfortunately, the unofficial regular-season ACC champs are toast in terms of its bid for being a top eight national seed after dropping their first two contests in the 2014 ACC Baseball Championships. The losses drop the Hurricanes to 16th in the RPI. You have to think that the 40-17 record overall and 24-6 run through the ACC regular season merit a #1 regional seed given to the top 16 seeds in the tournament overall, but it’s hard to imagine the selection committee pushing a team with a 16 RPI to the top eight discussion.

Maryland, Georgia Tech off the bubble? Maryland may not have been on the bubble, but with back-to-back wins over top five RPI teams (UVA, Florida State), the Terps (RPI 23) are a solid in. Georgia Tech finished pool play with a 2-1 record and can play on Sunday with a Miami win over Duke on Saturday. With a 32 RPI, the Jackets may be in, but Selection Monday might still be a bit uncomfortable without the automatic bid.

Whither UNC? The Tar Heels are 42 in the RPI, so they’re in a similar position as Georgia Tech, with more work to do. A win over Virginia on Friday and another over Maryland on Saturday could put UNC into the title game on Sunday. Those two wins themselves might be enough to play the Heels off the bubble, but if they can run the table this weekend, that would eliminate all doubt, and there’s still plenty of doubt.

What about Clemson? Clemson’s 2-1 record in the tournament, including a win over Miami on Thursday, is helpful, but with a 49 RPI, it would have helped the Tigers immensely to have won here on Friday against Georgia Tech. Might be on the outside looking in.

Duke: Needs to beat Miami on Saturday and then win the championship on Sunday to get the automatic bid. The 80 RPI is just too much to overcome with the other resumes just in the ACC.

– Column by Chris Graham

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