Boston College has a two-game series this weekend against the Niagara Purple Eagles. It's a key series, especially since the team has to stay sharp and not look ahead to the Georgia Tech series next weekend. As any coach will tell you, every game is must-win, especially to a team on the bubble like the Eagles.
But while the Eagles are playing non-conference games, there's some key ACC series that will impact teams' postseason chances. As a reminder, this is what the standings look like:
C1) Miami, 16-6 (.727)
A1) Florida State, 14-6 (.700)
3) Louisville, 16-8 (.667)
4) NC State, 13-9 (.591)
5) Virginia, 14-10 (.583)
6) Clemson, 13-14 (.481)
7) Georgia Tech, 11-12 (.478)
8) Wake Forest, 11-13 (.458)
9) Notre Dame, 10-12 (.455)
10) Boston College, 11-14 (.440)
11) Pittsburgh, 10-13 (.435)
T-12) North Carolina, 10-14 (.417)
T-12) Duke, 10-14 (.417)
14) Virginia Tech, 5-19 (.208)
7) Wake Forest at 14) Virginia Tech
With BC idle, wins by Virginia Tech could do wonders on getting the Eagles closer to a higher seed. Wake Forest is a half of a game ahead of the Eagles at 11-13, which means a Hokies win today would tie BC with the Demon Deacons.
Because Boston College took two of three, the Eagles have a head-to-head tiebreaker with Wake Forest. It's unlikely they wind up tied, but with the Deacons hosting Louisville next weekend, this is a huge series for them to pick up wins. Louisville is likely to remain in the hunt for the Atlantic Division championship, which in turn keeps them in the hunt for the top seed in the ACC Championship.
VT has nothing to play for at this point, but that's what likely makes them dangerous. Unfortunately for them, expect the Deacs to play with urgency. Importance level: Huge. Root for Virginia Tech to do former assistant Mike Gambino a solid.
A1) Florida State at T-12) Duke
Duke has a long way to go if they want to make the tournament, especially since they have three games this weekend with a team angling for a national seed and the ACC regular season championship. According to most experts, their bubble chances burst when they dropped two out of three to NC State last weekend.
That said, with six games left, they can boost their resume with a big showing over the next couple of weeks, starting today with Florida State at home. If they can take two out of three, they'll be able to vault potentially back into the race. If nothing else, a couple of wins would pass the Eagles, since a 12-15 record would be better than BC's 11-14 this weekend.
It should be noted that Duke didn't play BC and were swept by UNC. That series against Pittsburgh is therefore huge only if they can beat FSU.
FSU, meanwhile, is on the heels of Miami, and they need wins both to keep Louisville behind them and to catch the Hurricanes. With 32 regular season wins, FSU is angling for a top four national seed, which would see them host a Super Regional, if they get that far. Importance level: Big. A Duke win here hurts, but it's not the end of the world. The expectation is for FSU to handle business, even though the games are at Durham. Weird note - Duke's home games are at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, also known as the host of the ACC postseason.
4) NC State at 3) Louisville
This series will do absolutely nothing for the Eagles.
BC defeated both of these teams this year, which means either winning does nothing to boost the postseason resume. The Eagles can't catch anyone, either, so while it's a big series, it's just something that will be fun to watch if you're channel surfing the Internet. Importance level: Root for great baseball.
7) Georgia Tech at 5) Virginia
The Yellow Jackets are proving themselves a feast-or-famine team down the stretch. They pounded Clemson, winning 16-1 and 7-5, and they beat Miami, 12-1, to open last weekend. But they lost an extra innings game to the Tigers, and Miami rallied in Atlanta to absolutely destroy GT over the next two games. Even though they rallied for 20-plus runs over Savannah State, Georgia Tech needs wins here to right the ship and clinch themselves a shot at placing directly into pool play.
At the same time, the NC State-Louisville series is going to open the door for Virginia to jump up for a shot at the #4 seed in the tournament, provided the 'Hoos win.
If the Yellow Jackets win a number of games, they have a chance to place directly into pool play and avoid those single elimination "elimination games" for the bottom four teams. At the same time, losses by Georgia Tech push the Eagles closer to not only catching them but also potentially placing out with a good weekend next weekend.
This is one of those times where things could conceivably shape up that BC could lose the series next week and still get into the ACC postseason if the right teams play poorly. Plus wins by Virginia help BC, since the Eagles hold a series victory over the Cavaliers. Importance: GREAT SIGNIFICANCE. Root for Virginia to pound Georgia Tech as hard as humanly possible.
11) Pittsburgh at C1) Miami
Miami is the top seed in the postseason, and Pittsburgh is virtually tied with BC. Pittsburgh holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over BC.
Miami wins open the door for the Hurricanes to potentially lock in on the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
For the love of all things maroon and gold, it's all about the U. Importance: C-A-N-E-S CANES!
9) Notre Dame at T-12) North Carolina
I don't know how much fire UNC wants to play with. They're still locked into the NCAA Tournament, but they're on the outside looking in on the ACC postseason. You have to assume they'll be able to right the ship, but they're pretty much relying solely on their RPI and might become the first ACC team to miss the postseason and still make the tournament since the league expanded to two divisions.
Notre Dame's postseason hopes are on life support. They need wins here badly. They're in ninth place, but they're under 30 wins right now. The predictions currently have the Irish on the outside looking in. They have some work to do, which puts a premium on wins here.
UNC is about a half of a game behind the Eagles, one back in the win column. Notre Dame has one less win than BC, but they have two less losses. At this point, I don't really know what to expect here. Just root for chaos. Importance: Not really sure, but root for anarchy. If one team wins, it hurts BC as much as the other team losing helps them.
6) Clemson at Georgia Southern
It's a non-conference series and Clemson is probably going to do unholy things to the Eagles. Importance: Fire up the grill and just watch some baseball for the sake of it.