The whacky and wild race to the finish for the ACC postseason took another surreal turn last weekend. Florida State swept Miami, opening the door just enough for North Carolina to make it a race in the Coastal Division after their sweep of Boston College. All of a sudden, what seemed like a preconceived notion of victory for the Hurricanes is now a race, as the Tar Heels pulled within three games of the second seed in the tournament.
That race is going to highlight what's going to be an insane last couple of weeks in the ACC. The only thing certain is that Louisville likely will clinch the Atlantic Division and run away with the top seed in the postseason; they currently have a 4.5 game lead over FSU for the division and lead Miami by the same mark for the battle between division leaders. With a three-game series left against the Noles, they can clinch that top spot as early mathematically as next week.
As for the rest of the crowded pack, there's still not a lot of wiggle room. FSU holds the same record as Miami, which means if the Miami/UNC race can catch the Noles on the back end (especially with three games left against Louisville and Clemson), FSU can still fall to fourth. They can't finish second because of divisional alignments, so it's key to watch what happens with the Coastal race for second.
Behind that grouping is a heavy crop of Atlantic Division teams. Three games separate fifth from 11th with only two Coastal Division teams on the right side of the bubble.
BC essentially has to win their way into the tournament. At 9-14, they're tied with Virginia Tech for 11th place, a half game back of a Virginia team they did not play this year. BC doesn't hold a tiebreaker head-to-head over any of the ACC teams right now except for Georgia Tech, and while only North Carolina's swept them, they need to win the next two series to assure themselves of some momentum into the ACC race.
How big is this weekend? If BC loses the series to Virginia Tech, they'll have to outright get in over everybody. It will also mean they'll have to do it against a team currently seeded sixth at .500 - old friend Mik Aoki and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While it's likely BC will still need to beat the Irish to get in anyways, it would be nice to not need a sweep.
Here's a look at the way the standings shake down heading into this weekend, along with who's left on all the teams' schedules. We'll update clinching scenarios next week following the upcoming series for the Eagles since right now, nothing can be clinched. All remaining games in conference are three-game series. Remember that any canceled rainouts are not made up. Omitted games remaining are for Duke and Pitt because they're not making the tournament without a Hail Mary.
Pitt lost to Fairfield last weekend, so in all honesty they should be relegated to the MAAC anyways.
|Place||Team||Record||GB (Division)||GB (Conf.)||Remaining Games|
|A1)||Louisville||19-2||--||--||@Clem, FSU, @NCSU|
|3)||Florida State||16-8||4.5||4.5||@Louisville, CLEM|
|4)||North Carolina||13-10||2.5||7.0||@ND, UVA|
|6)||Notre Dame||12-12||8.5||8.5||UNC, @BC|
|7)||NC State||11-12||9.0||9.0||@Wake, @L'Ville|
|8)||Georgia Tech||11-13||5.0||9.5||PITT, @Mia|
|9)||Wake Forest||11-13||9.5||9.5||NCSU, @Duke|
|T-11)||Boston College||9-14||11.0||11.0||@VT, ND|
|T-11||Virginia Tech||9-14||6.5||11.0||BC, @PITT|