With today's 77-56 loss to Miami, the Eagles hoops team has earned the no. 12 seed for the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament which starts this Thursday down in Atlanta. Even though both Wake Forest and Georgia Tech finished with identical 4-12 records, and Virginia Tech (4-11) plays tomorrow, BC loses both the three-way and four-way tiebreaker with the Hokies, Demon Deacons and Yellow Jackets.
Here's the tiebreaker rule for when three or more programs finish with the same mark in conference play.
(3) If three or more teams are tied in the standings, the following procedures will be used:
a. The combined record of conference games between the tied teams involved will be compiled. Ties will be broken, and seedings assigned, based on the winning percentage of the combined conference records. The higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group is unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1; 1-0 is the same as 2-0; 2-0 is the same as 4-0; 2-1 is the same as 4-2; 1-0 is better than 1-1; 0-1 is the same as 0-2; 0-2 is the same as 0-4).
If Virginia Tech loses to N.C. State tomorrow to finish 4-12, the Eagles would lose all tiebreaker comparisons with the other three programs by virtue of their 2-4 record -- 1-1 vs. Georgia Tech, 1-1 vs. Virginia Tech and 0-2 vs. Wake Forest.
Wake Forest would earn the no. 9 seed, followed by Virginia Tech at 10 and Georgia Tech at 11.
If Virginia Tech wins tomorrow, the Hokies earn the no. 9 seed with a 5-11 record. Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and BC would all be tied at 4-12, but BC loses all the tiebreaker comparisons to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, too.
Basically, regardless of what happens tomorrow, BC is locked into the 12. Three other teams are locked into their seeds -- no. 3 Florida State, no. 8 Maryland, no. 11 Georgia Tech and no. 12 BC.
It is Boston College's lowest seed in the program's seven years in the conference, and only the second time the Eagles have finished with a double digit seed. Previously, BC had earned the 3rd (2006), 4th (2007), 11th (2008), 6th (2009), 8th (2010) and 5th (2011) seeds in their past ACC Tournament appearances.
As for BC's opponent, the tournament's fifth seed is still up the air and can be one of three teams -- Miami (9-7), Clemson (8-7) or N.C. State (8-7). There's no scenario remaining where Virginia, also 8-7, can be the no. 5 seed.
Here are the different scenarios for BC's first round ACC Tournament opponent, per the Washington Times' D1scourse blog:
The Eagles will face Miami with ...
-- a Virginia win AND an N.C. State loss
-- a Virginia loss AND an N.C. State win AND a Clemson loss
The Eagles will face Clemson with ...
-- a Clemson win AND a Virginia win AND an N.C. State win
-- a Clemson win AND a Virginia loss
-- a Clemson loss AND a Virginia loss AND an N.C. State loss
The Eagles will face N.C. State with ...
-- an N.C. State win AND a Virginia win AND a Clemson loss
Believe it or not, I'm somewhat pleased that the Eagles drew the no. 12 seed as it's probably the easiest path to the ACC semis. The 12 seeds have historically done well in the ACC Tournament, posting a .500 record (6-6). All but two of the six no. 12 seeds to date have advanced past the first round. With a first round victory, BC also avoids having to play the top three seeds in Duke/Carolina and Florida State. Finally, this locks the Eagles into the 2 PM game on Thursday where the crowd will be light and the pressure off for a team looking for only its second road/neutral win all season.
BC is 1-4 this season against possible ACC Tournament first round opponents, with the lone win coming against Clemson, a 59-57 home victory back on January 12.