As the 2017 regular season moves into its final weekend, the Boston College baseball team is still very much alive in the hunt for the postseason. While an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament is entirely out of the question, a berth in the ACC Tournament is not only possible, but highly obtainable given the current circumstances sounding the bottom-six teams in the conference.
By now, hopefully, you are familiar with the format of the ACC Tournament, but if not, here’s a refresher: the top-12 teams in the conference will earn a bid to the tournament in Louisville, and, as they sit at 8-19 in the ACC, Boston College is currently tied for last place with the University of Pittsburgh. BC needs to finish ahead of two teams to earn their ticket to the postseason and, with three conference games remaining, here are the current records of the teams that BC is in competition with:
Georgia Tech 10-17
Notre Dame 10-17
Virginia Tech 9-18
There is good news for Boston College as they head into the final weekend of the regular season: every team on that list plays an extremely difficult series to close out the year, including Notre Dame, who will travel to Chestnut Hill to face Eagles starting Thursday. To give an accurate picture of the different scenarios pertaining to BC “jumping” each team, we will list each with their final weekend opponent, with all possible outcomes, and what the Eagles will need to do to surpass them in the standings.
Duke (11-16): Final Series: @ UNC
If Duke goes 0-3: BC would need to sweep ND. The tiebreaker would go to BC.
If Duke goes 1-2: BC cannot catch them.
If Duke goes 2-1: BC cannot catch them.
If Duke goes 3-0: BC cannot catch them.
Georgia Tech (10-17): Final Series: vs. UVA
If GT goes 0-3: BC could sweep ND to jump GT outright OR go 2-1 and hope the tiebreaker falls to them.
If GT goes 1-2: BC would need to sweep ND and hope the tiebreaker falls to them.
If GT goes 2-1: BC cannot catch them.
If GT goes 3-0: BC cannot catch them.
Notre Dame (10-17): Final Series: @ BC
If ND goes 0-3: It would mean BC swept the Irish and jumped them.
If ND goes 1-2: BC cannot catch them.
If ND goes 2-1: BC cannot catch them.
If ND goes 3-0: BC cannot catch them.
Virginia Tech (9-18): Final Series: @ Miami
If VT goes 0-3: BC could go 2-1 against ND and jump them.
If VT goes 1-2: BC would have to sweep ND because VT holds the tiebreaker.
If VT goes 2-1: BC cannot catch them.
If VT goes 3-0: BC cannot catch them.
Pittsburgh (8-19): Final Series: @ Wake Forest
If Pitt goes 0-3: BC could go 1-2 or better against ND and jump them.
If Pitt goes 1-2: BC could go 1-2 against ND and hope for the tiebreaker OR go 2-1 or better and jump them.
If Pitt goes 2-1: BC could go 2-1 and hope for the tiebreaker OR sweep ND and jump them outright.
If Pitt goes 3-0: BC would need to sweep ND and hope for the tiebreaker.
There you have it: the final scenarios facing the Eagles entering the last weekend of the regular season. Remember, BC needs to jump TWO teams, so two of these scenarios need to play out in BC’s favor. The good news is that there are ways for BC to jump every team on this list; no one is unreachable, yet. And, while teams like Duke and Georgia Tech may put themselves into the tournament quickly this weekend with wins on Thursday, teams like Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, who have very tough road series, are dead in the Eagles’ sights. While a lot will depend on what other teams do, BC can make life much easier on itself this weekend by sweeping arch-rival Notre Dame, the only way to really “ensure” (nothing is 100%) they make it to Louisville. A 2-1 record against the Irish may still get them by two teams, but in that case, a lot more will have to break in the Eagles’ favor. A 1-2 or 0-3 weekend will see BC’s season end on Saturday. Hang on to your hats, folks. It’s going to be a big weekend of baseball.