The ACC Guru
ACC Baseball & Other Spring Sports Update
Updated: May 17, 2022
First off, I want to apologize that I haven't posted since the end of the basketball season, but I'll be honest with you, I just don't follow spring sports that much. I will say that I have watched more baseball this year than I ever have, and man I picked a good year to start. The ACC currently has 6 teams ranked in D1Baseball's Top 25:
5. Virginia Tech
16. Notre Dame
21. Florida State
And Georgia Tech is the first team out
The ACC is loaded and has been absolutely incredible this year. Including the 7 teams listed above, Clemson, Wake Forest, UNC, and NC State are all in the top 31 of the RPI which is used to help with seeding the NCAA Tournament. Pittsburgh is also above .500 in the conference and has a shot to get into the field of 64. That's 12 teams that are in play for a bid. Now, we'll probably only end up getting 9 or 10 teams, but that's still insane!
With only 2 weeks left in the regular season, the standings are getting pretty tight at the top. In the Atlantic, Louisville is 2 wins ahead of Notre Dame, but they're tied in the loss column. In the Coastal, Miami is in the lead, but the 2 Virginia schools are within striking distance. Check out the full standings below:
The ACC Baseball Championships will begin on May 24th in Charlotte, and I will be back to preview the tournament that week. For now, let's take a look at what's been going on around the league in the other spring sports.
ACC Softball has also been really strong this year. Virginia Tech won the regular season and is ranked #2 in the country. The Hokies have a legit shot to win Virginia Tech's first ever NCAA Team Championship in any sport. The Hokies aren't the only team playing well though. Florida State (3), Duke (7), Clemson (16), and Notre Dame (18) also join the Hokies in the top 25. Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Virginia are also in contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The ACC Tournament begins tomorrow with all games through the semi finals airing on ACCN. The Championship will be on ESPN2 on Saturday at 1 PM. Check out the bracket below:
For ACC standards, the conference was down in Men's Lacrosse this year. The Men's side doesn't have a conference tournament and elects to send their regular season champion to the NCAA Tournament and play more regular season games to try to strengthen everyone's chances of making the NCAA Tournament. I don't know if the lack of a tournament is the main reason why, but this strategy did not work out for the conference this year. Virginia won the regular season championship and is the conference's only representative in the NCAA Tournament field (only 18 teams make the field).
I'm not claiming to be an expert in lacrosse, but it sure seems like the committee really messed this one up. The Ivy League got 6 teams in while the ACC only got one. These are normally the 2 strongest conferences, and the Ivy League was better this year, but not that much better. The ACC had 4 teams in the top 18 in the RPI compared to the Ivy's 6. Seems like the ACC should have gotten more teams in. The team that has the most to complain about is Notre Dame. The Irish are ranked #4 in the country with an RPI of 11, plus they just beat Duke in what was considered to be a "play-in game", and still missed the tournament. Virginia, who is the 2-time defending National Champion, also has a gripe with the committee as they will have to go on the road in the first round and then go through #1 seed Maryland to get to the Final Four and have a chance to defend their title.
Tough luck for Notre Dame, but hopefully the Hoos can prove that the committee was wrong.
The ACC has probably the 2 best teams in the country in North Carolina and Boston College. After beating them by only 1 goal in the regular season, UNC beat The Eagles 16-9 in the ACC Championship game over the weekend and earned the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now, the rest of the conference will turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament as well. Including the Tar Heels (#1), the ACC received 6 bids to the tournament. Boston College (#3) and Syracuse (#5) both received a National Seed, while Virginia, Duke, and Notre Dame will also be competing for a National Championship. The first round begins on Friday, with UNC and Boston College waiting until the second round on Sunday to begin their tournament play. The first and second round are available on ESPN+, the quarters and semis are on ESPNU, and the Championship will be on ESPN on May 29th.
On the Men's side, Wake Forest beat Georgia Tech for the ACC team Championship, and Clemson' Jacob Bridgeman won the individual ACC Championship. The ACC is sending 10 teams in total to the NCAA Championships, which begin with Regional play on Sunday. Notre Dame and Florida State are playing in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Louisville is playing in Norman, OK, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Duke will be in Columbus, OH, and North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech's Connor Burgess will be in New Haven, CT. The top 5 teams and top individual will advance from each region to the NCAA Finals which begin on May 27th in Scottsdale, AZ.
On the Women's side, Wake Forest also won the Team Championship by beating Florida State, and Duke's Phoebe Brinker won the individual title. The Women's regionals got underway yesterday, and 10 ACC teams are competing. Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, Florida State, Clemson, NC State, and Louisville are competing for a National Championship as well as Notre Dame's Chloe Schiavone. The top six teams in each region will advance to the Finals which begin on May 20th in Scottsdale, AZ as well.
Virginia captured the ACC Men's Championship while Duke won the Women's ACC Championship. Both NCAA Tournaments have already begun. The men have 9 teams in the Tournament (Duke, FSU, Louisville, Miami, UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Wake Forest) with NC State, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, and Virginia all advancing to the Super Regionals. The Women have 8 teams in the Tournament (Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest) with UNC, Miami, Duke, NC State, and Virginia all advancing to the Super Regionals. Both tournaments resume this weekend.
No I'm not breaking down Spring Games, but the ACC Spring Meetings are currently going on in Florida, and it sounds like there could be a big shakeup coming to football scheduling. It looks like the ACC is going to get rid of divisions in football and have the top 2 teams in the standings play in the Championship game, just like they did during the Covid season of 2020 when Notre Dame was a conference member. The proposed schedule would have each team play 3 "rivals" every year, play 5 of the other teams, and then play the other 5 the following year. This way you play every team at least every other year and every player would get to play at every stadium in the league during their 4 year career. This is a much better setup than the current one that has you playing some teams once every six years and doesn't guarantee the top 2 teams playing in the championship. The NCAA and ESPN would still have to sign off on this, but I think they can get this one done and they're hopeful they can get the new scheduling in place for the 2023 season.
IF the ACC is able to get this done, these are the rivals that I would like to see each team play each year:
Boston College- Syracuse, Pitt, and Wake Forest
Clemson- Florida State, Georgia Tech, and NC State
Duke- North Carolina, Wake Forest, and NC State
Florida State- Clemson, Miami, and Wake Forest
Georgia Tech- Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami
Louisville- Pitt, Virginia, and Syracuse
Miami- Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech
North Carolina- Duke, Virginia, and NC State
NC State- North Carolina, Duke, and Clemson
Pitt- Louisville, Syracuse, and Boston College
Syracuse- Boston College, Pitt, and Louisville
Virginia- Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Louisville
Virginia Tech- Virginia, Miami, and Georgia Tech
Wake Forest- Duke, Boston College, and Florida State
Good Luck to all teams competing in ACC and NCAA Tournaments!