Baseball's ACC Championship Magic Number: 2 (For The Most Part)

Destination: NewBridge Bank Park, Greensboro (via Wikipedia)

BC baseball heads into the final weekend of the ACC regular season clinging to the 7th spot in the ACC Baseball Championship. With only 8 of 12 clubs making the tournament, three teams - BC, N.C. State and UNC - are vying for the final two spots in this year's championship to be played May 26-30 at NewBridge Park in Greensboro. Wake, Maryland and Duke have already been eliminated. 

Here's a look at the current standings:

7.) Boston College (13-14) (remaining vs. Georgia Tech)
8.) N.C. State (12-15) (remaining vs. Duke)
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9.) North Carolina (11-16) (remaining vs. Virginia Tech)

 

Any number of scenarios can play out in this final weekend, but let's assume for a moment that N.C. State will handle an uninspiring Duke club this weekend and jump up to claim the 7th spot with a record of 15-15 (or 14-16). As Duke has already been eliminated from the postseason, this probably isn't a stretch to assume.

Given that, the Eagles are really working to stave off North Carolina from sneaking in and stealing the 8th and final spot. Under this scenario, the Eagles' magic number stands at 2. Any combination of BC wins and UNC losses that equals 2 will send the Eagles to only their second appearance in the ACC Baseball Championship.

In the event that BC and UNC tie for eight place at 14-16 or 13-17, and N.C. State isn't involved in a three-way tie, because the Eagles and Tar Heels missed playing one another during the regular season, the tie would be broken by the ACC's non-divisional two-team tiebreaker: 

1. Head-to-head conference competition between the tied teams
2. Head-to-head competition of the tied teams compared to common opponents with the highest overall conference winning percentage and continuing until one team gains an advantage.

As it stands now, Virginia has the best overall conference winning percentage, posting a mark of 21-6 (.778) heading into their regular season finale against Miami. Both BC and UNC were swept by the Cavaliers, so we continue down the standings ...

Next up is Georgia Tech and Miami, who currently have a 19-8 conference record (.704). The good news for BC is that the Heels were swept by both the Jackets and Hurricanes. BC stole a game from Miami back on March 12, behind 8 scoreless innings from junior Pat Dean. So when the tiebreaker gets to Miami, BC takes the eighth and final spot over UNC by virtue of the common opponents tiebreaker. 

The only other team that can catch Virginia, Georgia Tech or Miami atop the conference standings is Florida State, currently at 18-9. But the common opponent tiebreaker doesn't give either the Eagles or the Heels an edge, as both programs took only 1 of 3 from FSU. 

So long story short, if BC and UNC tie for eighth place in this year's ACC baseball standings, you can all personally thank Pat Dean for getting the Eagles back to the ACC Baseball Championship.

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