If rain washes out ACC semifinals, final, UNC can’t be awarded league title

By R.L. Bynum

DURHAM — If the bad weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday is accurate, the outlook for North Carolina winning its second consecutive ACC title isn’t good.

If the league cannot complete the ACC tournament, it will award the championship to the team with the best record in the tournament. The title will go to the highest-seeded team if there’s a tie.

Here is how the league rule reads:

“If pool play is completed, the team with the best record in the ACC championship will receive the automatic qualification. If the teams in the semifinals or championship game have the same record, the highest seed remaining will receive the automatic qualification.”

The good news for the Tar Heels (35–21) is that they are 2–0 in the tournament. The bad news is that they will be the lowest seed of the four semifinalists at No. 7.

That would be a frustrating outcome for UNC after an impressive 10–2 victory Thursday over No. 12-ranked Virginia.

To increase the chances of both semifinals being played, they are both now scheduled to start at 1 p.m. UNC’s game against No. 6-ranked and No. 3-seed Clemson (41–17) will be played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park and air on ACC Network. No. 1-seed Wake Forest (47–9) will play Miami at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill in a game that will stream on ESPN3. The No. 4-seed Miami (39–18) beat Duke 7–6 Friday afternoon. The Deacons beat No. 8-seed Notre Dame 7–5 Friday night.

The Tigers, who swept Carolina in the regular-season-ending series, beat No. 6-seed Boston College 4–1 Friday for their 14th consecutive game and are 2–0 in the tournament. The Tigers’ last loss came against the Eagles on April 28.

Clemson junior left-hander Caden Brice (7–1, 3.18 ERA), who gave up four hits, one unearned run, two walks while striking out nine in the Tigers’ 3–1 victory Saturday over UNC, will start in the semifinals against Carolina. Grice also hit a two-run home run in the game. Junior right-hander Connor Bovair (4–3, 5.00 ERA) is expected to start for the Tar Heels.

“They’re an outstanding team,” Clemson coach Erik Bakich said Friday after his team’s win over BC. “They’re an elite team. They’re hot. They’re playing well. They played well this time last year. They’ve got star power guy with a guy like [Mac] Horvath, they’ve got good pitching. Even though [Vance] Honeycutt is out, they still have star power and premium athletes as well.”

The way that UNC blew out Virginia impressed Bakich.

“Virginia’s a potential national seed and an Omaha club and North Carolina, the way they’ve been playing, they are, too,” Bakich said. “They can make an Omaha run as well. You can easily see that just with the way they play in the star power they have; athe very dangerous team. What hat happened last weekend has nothing to do it [Saturday]. And you know, the team is gonna win as a team that plays better.”

In the first semifinal, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, No. 1-seed Wake Forest (46–9 heading into its 7 p.m. Friday game against No. 8-seed Notre Dame) would face No. 4-seed Miami (39–18), which beat Duke 7–6 Friday afternoon. 

A Deacons win over the Irish would give them the ACC title, should the league be unable to play semifinals and the finals.

The forecast for 1 p.m. Saturday is for a 87% chance of rain, with the chance of rain no lower than 62% until 7 p.m. It doesn’t get much better on Sunday, with a chance of rain no lower than 68%.

With the NCAA announcing its tournament field at noon Monday, the ACC tournament can’t extend until Monday. The Durham Bulls have a home game on Monday, anyway.

In D1Baseball’s latest NCAA projection released Friday, UNC is the No. 2 seed at Auburn, with Troy the No. 3 seed and Samford as the No. 4 seed. Its previous projection had Carolina going to Columbia, S.C., but it no longer projects South Carolina as a host.

Baseball America projects UNC as the No. 2 seed in the Conway, S.C., regional, with host Coastal Carolina, No. 3-seed Southern Cal and No. 4-seed Maine.

The NCAA announces the 16 host teams Sunday at 8 p.m. and reveals the entire field at noon Monday.

ACC tournament

At Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Pool play
All games on ACC Network
Tuesday’s results

No. 6-seed Boston College 11, No. 10 Virginia Tech 7
No. 7 North Carolina 11, No. 11 Georgia Tech 5
No. 9 N.C. State 8, No. 5 Duke 7, 11 innings
Wednesday’s results
No. 12 Pittsburgh 9, No. 8 Notre Dame 5
No. 2 Virginia 15, No. 11 Georgia Tech 1, 7 innings
No. 3 Clemson 14, No. 10 Virginia Tech 5
Thursday’s results
No. 1 Wake Forest 10, No. 12 Pittsburgh 2
No. 7 North Carolina 10, No. 2 Virginia 2
No. 4 Miami 4, No. 9 N.C. State 2
Friday’s results
No. 3 Clemson 4, No. 6 Boston College 1
No. 4 Miami 7, No. 5 Duke 6
No. 1 Wake Forest 7, No. 8 Notre Dame 5
Saturday’s semifinals
No. 3 Clemson 10, No. 7 North Carolina 4
No. 4 Miami 7, No. 1 Wake Forest 2
Sunday’s championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
No. 3 Clemson 11, No. 4 Miami 5
Pool A
Wake Forest 2–0
Pittsburgh 1–1
Notre Dame 0–2
Pool B
North Carolina 2–0
Virginia 1–1
Georgia Tech 0–2
Pool C
Clemson 2–0
Boston College 1–1
Virginia Tech 0–2
Pool D
Miami 2–0
N.C. State 1–1
Duke 0–2

UNC statistics

(current rank)
17Friday10–8 LSeton HallHome0–1
18Saturday11–2 WSeton HallHome1–1
19Sunday4–2 WSeton HallHome2–1
21Tuesday14–2 WRadfordHome3–1
22Wed.10–0 WLongwoodHome4–1
24Friday6–5 LNo. 15 East CarolinaGreenville4–2
26Sunday6–5 LNo. 15 East CarolinaHome4–3
28Tuesday10–4 WVCUHome5–3
1Wed.14–10 WVCUHome6–3
3Friday3–2 W
11 innings
Stony BrookHome7–3
4Saturday7–5 WStony BrookHome8–3
5Sunday15–4 WStony BrookHome9–3
7Tuesday8–4 W,
5 innings
Western CarolinaHome10–3
8Wed.15–5 WPenn StateHome11–3
10Friday7–3 LNo. 11 VirginiaHome11–4,
0–1 ACC
11Saturday8–4 LNo. 11 VirginiaHome11–5,
0–2 ACC
11Saturday6–0 WNo. 11 VirginiaHome12–5,
1–2 ACC
14Tuesday16–3 WCharlotteCharlotte13–5
15Wed.16–2 WHigh PointHome14–5
17, 18Friday,
17–7 WPittsburghPittsburgh15–5,
2–2 ACC
21Tuesday6–4 WN.C. A&THome16–5
23Thursday6–3 WDukeHome17–5,
3–2 ACC
24Friday8–5 LDukeHome17–6,
3–3 ACC
25Saturday5–3 WDukeHome18–6,
4–3 ACC
28Tuesday12–7 LNo. 9 Coastal CarolinaHome18–7
31Friday10–8 WNotre DameSouth Bend, Ind.19–7,
5–3 ACC
2Sunday5–2 WNotre DameSouth Bend, Ind.20–7,
6–3 ACC
2Sunday9–1 LNotre DameSouth Bend, Ind20–8,
6–4 ACC
4Tuesday5–0 LSouth CarolinaCharlotte20–9
6Thursday8–1 WGeorgia TechAtlanta21–9,
7–4 ACC
7Friday10–6 WGeorgia TechAtlanta22–9,
8–4 ACC
7Friday8–4 LGeorgia TechAtlanta22–10,
8–5 ACC
11Tuesday10–6 WQueensHome23–10
13Thursday5–4 LNo. 8 MiamiHome23–11,
8–6 ACC
9–8 W,
11 inn.
No. 8 MiamiHome24–11,
9–6 ACC
15Saturday4–3 LNo. 8 MiamiHome24–12,
9–7 ACC
18Tuesday5–3 WCharlotteHome25–12
21Friday9–8 L,
10 inn.
Boston CollegeHome25–13,
9–8 ACC
22Saturday9–4 LBoston CollegeHome25–14,
9–9 ACC
23Sunday6–2 LBoston CollegeHome25–15,
9–10 ACC
25Tuesday18–2 WUNCWHome26–15
28Friday7–0 LVirginia TechBlacksburg, Va.26–16,
9–11 ACC
29Saturday12–8 WVirginia TechBlacksburg, Va.27–16,
10–11 ACC
29Saturday13–7 WVirginia TechBlacksburg, Va.28–16,
11–11 ACC
2Tuesday6–5 LNo. 11 CampbellHome28–17
3Wed.2–1 WNo. 15 East CarolinaGreenville29–17
9Tuesday5–4 WGardner-WebbHome30–17
11Thursday9–8 WN.C. StateHome31–17,
12–11 ACC
12Friday9–3 WN.C. StateHome32–17,
13–11 ACC
13Saturday12–2 WN.C. StateHome33–17,
14–11 ACC
16Tuesday8–6 LNo. 9 Coastal CarolinaConway, S.C.33–18
18Thursday14–7 LNo. 3 ClemsonClemson, S.C.33–19,
14–12 ACC
19Friday5–4 LNo. 3 ClemsonClemson, S.C.33–20,
14–13 ACC
20Saturday3–1 LNo. 3 ClemsonClemson, S.C.33–21,
14–14 ACC
ACC tournament
23Tuesday11–5 WGeorgia TechDurham34–21
25Thursday10–2 WNo. 11 VirginiaDurham35–21
27Saturday10–4 LSemifinal vs.
No. 3 Clemson
JuneNCAA tournament
Terre Haute Regional
2Friday5–4 LIowaTerre Haute, Ind.35–23
3Saturday5–0 WWright StateTerre Haute, Ind.36–23
4Sunday6–5 L,
13 innings
Iowa Terre Haute, Ind.36–24
Rankings according to D1Baseball

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications


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