The 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament will be contested between May 24-29 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. And although we're still about two months away from crowning an ACC baseball champion, it's never too early to start charting the path to the tournament.
The ACC Baseball Tournament is an eight-team round robin for 10 qualified teams and holds the distinction of being the last conference championship crowned by the league. It begins with two play-in games on the 24th, where the #10 team plays the #7 team and the #9 team plays the #8 team. Teams seeded first through sixth receive byes.
The remaining eight teams slot and reseed into two pools of round robin play, with teams seeded first, fourth, fifth, and eighth in Division A and teams seeded second, third, sixth, and seventh in Division B. Every team plays each team in their division once, with overall records (and, if necessary, tiebreakers) determining who plays a single championship game in the finals.
The top 10 teams in the league qualify for the championship, with the two division winners automatically receiving the top two seeds. From there, the remaining teams, regardless of division, are seeded third through tenth.
The baseball schedule, namely because of its length, is among the weirder qualifying procedures in the nation. Cancelled games are not made up, meaning that teams can finish with uneven played games. That means a half of a game may determine the difference between seeding, and a cancelled game can either work in favor for or against any particular team in the conference.
As of last weekend, we are already headed for an uneven amount of games played. After Florida State defeated NC State on Friday by an 8-5 count, the Seminoles' next two games in Tallahassee against NC State were cancelled, meaning both of those teams will automatically play two less results. Florida State, at 6-1 in the league, thereby wound up losing ground to Louisville, who took two of three from Virginia. FSU gained a game on Friday but lost that ground when the Cardinals defeated the Cavaliers over the next two games. Because FSU didn't play, Louisville gained a game on them.
Those two cancellations keep Boston College at 12th place in the league as of last weekend. The two losses to Pittsburgh elevated the Panthers into a three-way tie for eighth with Wake Forest and Notre Dame, all at 4-5. BC sits a game and a half back of that logjam, one game behind NC State. The Wolfpack, by losing to the Seminoles and then sitting idle, lost ground and sit a half game out. That also means BC enters this weekend in last place in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division.
Here's the games for this upcoming week:
Florida State at Boston College
North Carolina at Miami
Virginia Tech at Louisville
Pittsburgh at Clemson
Duke at Georgia Tech
NC State at Virginia
Wake Forest at Notre Dame
|Atlantic-1||Florida State Seminoles||6-1||--|
|T-3||North Carolina Tar Heels||6-3||1.0|
|T-5||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||5-4||2.0|
|T-8||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||4-5||3.0|
|T-8||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||4-5||3.0|
|11||NC State Wolfpack||3-4||3.0|
|12||Boston College Eagles||3-6||4.0|
|13||Duke Blue Devils||2-7||5.0|
|14||Virginia Tech Hokies||1-8||6.0|