Tar Heels prepare for postseason
Three of the top four seeds in this week's ACC baseball tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park include Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina — but fans will have to wait for those teams to play.
Even though the tournament begins Tuesday with three games, regular-season champion UNC, the tournament's top seed, doesn't play its first game until Wednesday at 7 p.m..
No. 3 seed N.C. State and No. 4 seed Duke won't take the field until Thursday.
The 12-team tournament begins with four days of pool play with four pools containing three teams each. That means each team only plays on two of the first four days.
The four pool champions will reach Saturday's semifinals, with those two winners meeting for the ACC championship on Sunday.
Here are the breakdowns by pool (with seeds):
POOL A: No. 1 North Carolina (37-17), No. 8 Georgia Tech (31-25), No. 12 Pitt (27-25)
POOL B: No. 2 Clemson (43-13), No. 7 Miami (27-25), No. 11 Notre Dame (24-28)
POOL C: No. 3 N.C. State (40-14), No. 6 Florida State (39-17), No. 10 Virginia (28-24)
POOL D: No. 4 Duke (39-14), No. 5 Louisville (40-16), No. 9 Wake Forest (25-30)
In the case of a tie, the team with the higher seed advances to the semifinals.
No. 1-seed UNC opens play on Wednesday against No. 12 Pitt at 7 p.m. and plays its second pool play game on Friday at 3 p.m. against No. 8-seed Georgia Tech.
N.C. State opens Thursday at 3 p.m. against No. 10-seed Virginia and plays Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 6 Florida State.
Duke gets a morning schedule. It opens play Thursday at 11 a.m. against No. 9-seed Wake Forest and Friday at 11 a.m. against No. 5-seed Louisville.
In terms of RPI, Pool C looks like the toughest group. Though seeded higher, N.C. State's RPI of 14 is actually lower than Florida State's No. 10, according to D1baseball.com. Virginia's RPI is No. 86. The Wolfpack enters the tournament after losing two of three games at Florida State to end the regular season.
Duke, playing on its home field, has a tough road as well. The Blue Devils, No. 17 in the RPI, have to get past No. 27 Louisville and No. 64 Wake Forest.
The Tar Heels, No. 7 in the RPI, will face No. 46 Georgia Tech and No. 121 Pittsburgh.
No. 2-seed Clemson, No. 11 in the RPI, has an easier pool in terms of RPI. The Tigers get No. 63 Miami and No. 93 Notre Dame. But Miami enters the tournament on a 10-game winning streak.
Here are the ACC tournament pairings:
Tuesday, May 22
No. 12 Pitt vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 10 Virginia vs. No. 6 Florida State, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Miami, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Wednesday, May 23
No. 9 Wake Forest vs. No. 5 Louisville, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 11 Notre Dame, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Pitt, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Thursday, May 24
No. 4 Duke vs. No. 9 Wake Forest, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 3 NC State vs. No. 10 Virginia, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 7 Miami vs. No. 2 Clemson, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Friday, May 25
No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 4 Duke, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 8 Georgia Tech vs. No. 1 North Carolina, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
No. 6 Florida State vs. No. 3 NC State, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Saturday, May 26
Pool A Winner vs. Pool D Winner, 1 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Pool B Winner vs. Pool C Winner, 5 p.m. (Fox Sports South)
Sunday, May 27
ACC Championship, noon (ESPN2)