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ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Seeding Scenarios

A quick glance at the ACC men's basketball standings quite simply makes my head hurt. While there is only 10 games left to play, the number of different scenarios seems too difficult to keep track of. 

Here are the current ACC standings as of Wednesday morning:

Rk. Team GP W L Max W Min W Remaining
1 Duke 14 12 2 14 12 Clemson, @ North Carolina
2 North Carolina 14 12 2 14 12 @ Florida State, Duke
3 Florida State 14 10 4 12 10 North Carolina, @ N.C. State
4 Virginia Tech 15 9 6 10 9 @ Clemson
5 Clemson 14 8 6 10 8 @ Duke, Virginia Tech
6 Boston College 15 8 7 9 8 Wake Forest
7 Maryland 14 7 7 9 7 @ Miami, Virginia
8 Virginia 15 6 9 7 6 @ Maryland
9 Miami (Fl) 14 5 9 7 5 Maryland, @ Georgia Tech
10 N.C. State 15 5 10 6 5 Florida State
11 Georgia Tech 14 3 11 5 3 @ Wake Forest, Miami
12 Wake Forest 14 1 13 3 1 Georgia Tech, @ Boston College


While the Eagles are currently just in 6th place, BC can finish anywhere from fourth to seventh with just one game to play. Here are four scenarios where the Eagles would earn each of these ACC Tournament seeds.

Note: this is not an exhaustive possibility set. Didn't have the time or patient to go through each scenario. Ask me again tomorrow after tonight's Clemson-Duke, Florida State-UNC and Maryland-Miami games. Things will likely be much more manageable after tonight's games.

Let's start with the most complicated of the four scenarios, earning the four seed.

Fourth Seed

- Boston College defeats Wake Forest
- Duke defeats Clemson
- Clemson defeats Virginia Tech
- Maryland defeats Miami
- Maryland defeats Virginia

Under this scenario, these four teams would finish with identical 9-7 records. Based on the ACC Tournament's seeding procedures, if three or more teams are tied in the standings ...

"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."

BC would own the best winning percentage of the combined conference records (4-1, .800), thanks to regular season sweeps over Virginia Tech and Maryland. Clemson would finish 2-1 against those teams (.666), while Virginia Tech would finish 2-3 (.400) and Maryland 1-4 (.200). BC is the four seed and gets a first round bye, Clemson the five, Virginia Tech the six and Maryland the seven.

Fifth Seed

- Boston College defeats Wake Forest 
- Duke defeats Clemson
- Virginia Tech defeats Clemson

Virginia Tech finishes 10-6 while BC finishes 9-7. Clemson is 8-8. Regardless of what happens to the Seminoles from here on out, Duke, UNC, FSU and VT are the top four seeds, and BC is the fifth seed. Maryland can tie BC at 9-7, but can't get seeded higher than BC given the 0-2 head-to-head result.

Sixth Seed

- Boston College defeats Wake Forest
- Clemson defeats Duke
- Virginia Tech defeats Clemson
- Maryland loses to either Miami or Virginia

Here, Virginia Tech is 10-6, BC 9-7 and Clemson 9-7. Hokies earn the third or fourth seed, Clemson the fifth and BC the sixth, based on the Tigers' head-to-head victory over the Eagles. Also, Maryland has to drop a game to either Miami or Virginia. Otherwise, the Terps would finish in a three-way tie with BC and Clemson, and BC would earn the five seed based on conference record against the tied teams -- 2-1.

Seventh Seed

- Wake Forest defeats Boston College
- Maryland defeats Miami
- Maryland defeats Virginia

In the unthinkable scenario, BC loses to Wake to finish 8-8. The Terps pass BC to finish 9-7. Under this scenario, doesn't matter what Clemson or Virginia Tech do the rest of the way, since Clemson owns the head-to-head and the Hokies already have 9 wins. BC is the no. 7 seed.


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