ACC: Championship day and post-season preview
By Glenn Tanner - May 27, 2007
North Carolina vs. Wake Forest for the ACC Tournament title at 1 pm on a beautiful, sunny day from Jacksonville!
UNC will start Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.55 ERA in 59.1 innings) while Wake will give senior Charlie Mellies only his fourth start of 2007. Mellies has pitched only 11 innings all season and is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA, but he's actually the leader of the Wake staff. His 2006 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery and he didn't make his debut this season until April 8th.
Wake has pulled off two stunners in a row, so don't bet against a third.
With regional host sites being announced this afternoon and regional bids going out tomorrow, let's recap where each ACC team currently stands with the selection committee. I've been telepathically channeling Larry Templeton, so this is the gospel...
(RPI courtesy of Boyd Nation)
Florida State -- #7 RPI, national seed, host. You can't hold their aromatic non-conference schedule against them when they go 24-6 in the ACC regular season.
North Carolina -- #4 RPI, national seed lock, host. Bet the farm on this.
Virginia -- #10, RPI, 1-seed, host, possible national seed. A win yesterday could have bumped Virginia into a national seed, but they still have a chance. Ahead of the Cavs in the RPI ratings are Texas A&M (5th place in the Big XII), Long Beach State (possibly 3rd place in the Big West pending today's results), and Coastal Carolina (only 7-5 vs. RPI top 50). Don't be shocked if the committee jumps Virginia or #11 South Carolina into a national seed
Clemson -- #19 RPI, 2-seed, possible 1-seed, slight chance of hosting. The RPI looks more accurate this season than it ever has. That's damning with faint praise, but still, I wouldn't be surprised if the top 16 RPI teams all received 1-seeds and host slots. The team most likely to be bumped down to a 2-seed is #13 Louisiana-Lafayette, which is only 1-5 against the RPI top 50. If that happens, Clemson is in the mix to snatch that 1-seed. The chances of Clemson hosting are less likely, as even if ULaLa gets bumped to a 2-seed, the committee might award them a host site because otherwise Ole Miss would be the only host in the Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama-Georgia region.
Miami -- #17 RPI, 2-seed, possible 1-seed, slight chance of hosting. See Clemson comment, because Miami has a nearly identical profile, though the dog show they put on last night had to hurt.
NC State -- #18 RPI, 2-seed lock, no chance to host
Georgia Tech -- #28 RPI, likely 2-seed. The committee will hold their 2-8 finish against them and could even use that to bump them to a 3-seed, even though most of those games were against great competition
Wake Forest -- #22 RPI, likely 3-seed. The committee will look for reasons to keep a team that finished 8th in its conference out of it, and before this week the reason they had available was Wake's sub-.500 conference record that was only held afloat by a 6-0 record against ACC dregs Maryland and Duke. But wins against Clemson and Miami this week have earned Wake a ticket even if they don't win today. There's a chance they get bumped to a 2-seed, but Wake will be happy with either.
Posted by Glenn Tanner at 12:08 PM on May 27, 2007